NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 50 percent toll increase in New Jersey has drivers looking for a cheaper route.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority says traffic on the state’s two major highways decreased in the first week of 2012 compared to a year ago.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Spokesman Tom Feeney says 70,000 fewer vehicles drove on the turnpike in the first five weekdays of the month. That’s nearly a 3 percent drop. More than 100,000 fewer vehicles traveled on the Garden State Parkway, a similar decrease.

“I can’t afford it,” said one truck driver. “Paid $3.60 and now I have to pay $5 and it’s ridiculous.”

“I was outraged from the 40 to 50 percent jump in the tolls,” said another driver.

Other drivers want to know where the money from the toll hikes is going.

“The road has been paid for, so I’m not sure what this revenue is for,” said a driver. “So I’m not sure what this revenue is for.”

The toll hikes are the second phase of a two-part increase approved in 2008 under then-Gov. Jon Corzine and are aimed at funding road and bridge projects.

Some of the money from the toll increase was originally set to go towards the trans-Hudson rail tunnel, but that project was killed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Feeney says that the Turnpike Authority actually projected a bigger drop in traffic when the toll raise went into effect.

For more information about tolls in New Jersey, click here.

Are you taking alternate routes to avoid tolls? Let us know below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (20)
  1. ArticleTwo says:

    Yup – I’m glad too. It’s a little slower with a few more stops, but actually I save a gallon of gas a week, plus 7.50 to 9.50 in tolls each way by being forced to find alternate routes.

    I also can stop and do errands on the way home.

  2. Obamadinijad Hussein says:

    how about that $13 verrazano bridge toll? that just goes to show, if you allow even 1 cent toll, eventually it will be raised to high heavens

  3. jerseyjoey says:

    Yet another reason why Nj residents say: ( the happy for me is seeing NewJersey in my rear view mirror as i head south)

  4. Peter Schwarz says:

    you guys get cheap gas so such it up.

    1. jerseyjoey says:

      another reason NYC is a sewer with idiots like this smackarse posting.

  5. sharon wolff says:

    Thanks former Gov Corzine for raising the tolls again. Idon’t know how the average worked who needs to drive to work can afford to do so; rising gas prices which are based on the a-hole futures traders, and toll increases, really put a strain on people. I don’t work however I feel for those who do. Yes, the road projects are already paid for as stated by other comments. I think someone has to look at the bookkeeping methods to see where the toll momey is really going. Someone is lining their pocketss

    1. mj says:

      it costs me over $100 in gas and tolls a week to get to work … thats over $400 a month

    2. doug says:

      I thought Christie was going to fight corruption!! instead he turns out to be our standard slimy politician!

      1. Jai Gee says:

        CORZINE raised the tolls, 2 parts, one when he was in office and one now, his legacy lives on, Do your research!!!

  6. mj says:

    why can’t the turnpike and parkway be FREE for nj residents in non commercial vehicles? everyone who legally registers a non commercial vehicle in nj gets an easy pass that records your trips but you DON’T get billed for it . its a free pass. they can charge regular tolls to commercial vehicles and out of state cars. i thought the parkway and turnpike were SUPPOSED to be fre AFTER they were paid for .

  7. royallen says:

    It was tough enough paying a dollar to ease my commute to work,but at a dollar fifty,I’m now leaving home a little earlier,and taking local road…………I hope the lack of users puts the parkway autority and the turnpike authority out of business

  8. Joe G says:

    I refuse to take the parkway or the turnpike anymore. I found ways around them, and I hope everyone else does too. Maybe if we jam enough towns with the extra traffic, someone will realize it’s not worth scamming the working poor that need these roads.

  9. Shawn says:

    I am excited that he raised the tolls. I used to travel about 20 miles to work and would pay the 3.35 in tolls each way, now that it has increased i have found a much better alternative and pay NOTHING!! The new route is less mileage and adds about 10 minutes onto commute. You think you could get more of my money and now you get none of it. I can spend the 200 dollars extra a month on something else. =p

  10. Steven Foellmi says:

    Same thing is happening in the Chiicago, IL: / Wisconsin area also!! I will be dam if ill pay a 80% hike!

    And they cant figure why they have lost more than you guys have lost in revenue!

  11. DaEmph says:

    I hope NJ goes bankrupt as it wont matter to me since leaving this sh!thole state, thanks fat boy! you opposed the Trans-Hudson Passenger Rail Tunnel but not the toll hike.
    Stupid republicans!

    1. YouCan'tRead says:

      The toll hikes are the second phase of a two-part increase approved in 2008 under then-Gov. Jon Corzine and are aimed at funding road and bridge projects.

    2. Jai Gee says:

      You Can’t Read is RIGHT, it is CORZINE the real FAT CAT hope he rots in jail, oops, he is Goldman Sachs, that won’t happen!

  12. Steven says:

    so the 1.40 in tolls was more than the gas used finding another route?

    1. FucNJ says:

      The $1.40 was the increase in tolls. The actual saving is $5 minus the costs of extra gas & time finding a toll-free alternative. Read carefully.

  13. janet says:

    I have no desire to travel either of these two routes!

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