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Port Authority Approves Toll and Fare Hike

The Board of Commissioners voted on Friday.

The Port Authority's board of commissioners approved on Friday morning.

Tolls on cars using E-ZPass will go up $1.50 next month, followed by a $.75 increase every December from 2012 to 2015. This comes down to a $4.50 increase over the next five years.

A single PATH ride—currently $1.75—will increase by $1 over the next four years, starting with a $.25 increase in September.

Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey are requiring an agency-wide review.

According to the Port Authority the plan is meant to "restore fiscal health to the agency by increasing toll and fare rates." The initial proposal called for a $6 toll hike. 

Cars paying with cash will have the same increase, but will be subject to an additional $2 penalty, according to the Port Authority.

"This is just the latest assault in Governor Christie’s war against New Jersey commuters," said U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg in a statement. "Make no mistake, these toll hikes are a tax on commuters that will disproportionately hurt New Jerseyans."

The Port Authority has said it needs the extra revenue to complete multiple capital projects, such as the suspender ropes on the George Washington Bridge, a modernization of the PATH system and the completion of the World Trade Center.

Local Politicians expressed their opposition to the increase when it was first announced. The Port Authority held public hearings earlier this week,

"I am disappointed that the revised plan reduces the long-term fare increases for drivers but not for PATH riders," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer in a statement on Friday afternoon. "If our goals are to reduce congestion, pollution, and health concerns, then our focus should be to encourage the use of public transportation."

The first increases will go into effect on Sept. 1.

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