NJ commuters, drivers sound off on toll hikes

JERSEY CITY - Representatives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received feedback Tuesday from commuters and drivers about what they think of the agency's proposed fare hikes during a series of eight meetings held on both sides of the Hudson River.

The Port Authority held two public hearings Tuesday morning and held another two tonight in northern New Jersey. The agency announced plans two weeks ago that called for tolls to rise by $4 for E-ZPass customers and $7 for cash customers as soon as September at the Outerbridge Crossing, Bayonne, Goethals and George Washington bridges, and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. An additional $2 increase would happen in 2014.

At a hearing in Jersey City, dozens of union workers who favor the hike said that the repairs on bridges and tunnels will help create more than 180,000 jobs. But commuters who use the bridges and tunnels on a daily basis say the proposed increases would be an economic hardship.

The plan would also hike fares on PATH trains by $1. The Port Authority will vote on the plan Friday, though either Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) or Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) could veto it within 10 days.

Critics said the meetings were all held on the same day just 48 hours before the Port Authority is scheduled to vote on the plan.Commuters, residents fume over proposed toll hikes Commuters upset over proposed Port Authority toll hikes Port Authority plans $4 toll hike

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