NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It’s going to cost more to cross the bridges and tunnels operated by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

The latest toll increase that’s part of a four-year phased-in plan that was approved by Port Authority commissioners in 2011 will kick in at 3 a.m. Sunday.

It will cost most E-ZPass drivers 75 cents more to cross Port Authority bridges and tunnels — up to $9.75 during off-peak hours, and $11.75 during peak hours. Motorists paying with cash will pay $1 more, up to $14, at all hours.

The new rates apply to the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, George Washington Bridge, Bayonne and Goethals bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing.

Lorenzo Jomar, of Fort Lee, said the timing of these toll hikes couldn’t be worse.

“It is the worst time because it’s time to buy gifts for our families,” Jomar told 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis. “I think it’s awful. I think they should do it little by little, not Christmastime.”

Marty of Rockland County said the alternatives aren’t that much cheaper.

“Even if you take mass transit that goes up all the time, it’s not even that much cheaper sometimes to take the train or the bus,” he said. “For me it’s cheaper to drive in because I can get a spot on the street, but for a lot of people it’s not that easy.”

“I travel back in and out for work and it costs me as much as like a car payment. It’s just ridiculous,” Bloomfield, N.J., resident Carli McCarthy told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

McCarthy said she even had to cut her hours back at work because the commute was so expensive.

The American Automobile Associations of New York and North Jersey had tried to block the toll increase, saying it violated federal law because the money was used partly to cover redevelopment of the World Trade Center.

The Port Authority claimed it showed the hikes were needed for transportation-related capital projects.

A federal judge last month refused to stop the increase.

By the time the increase is complete next year, cash tolls will be $15. In 2011, cash tolls were $8.

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