HAMMONTON, N.J. (AP) — Tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway could be collected by private hands instead of state workers.

Gov. Chris Christie’s office must review Tuesday’s vote by the South Jersey Transportation Authority to hire a Virginia company to privatize the operation.

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Faneuil Inc. of Hampton, Va., would hire employees and pay them less than the $30 an hour full-time collectors earn on the Expressway.

SJTA executive director Bart Mueller tells The Press of Atlantic City those losing jobs could transfer to other departments or apply for work with the vendor. A number are eligible for retirement.

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John Lowden of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers tells the newspaper the authority is taking away solid, middle-class jobs.

The agency hopes to shift to electronic toll collection within two years.

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