NEWARK - Commuters are digging deeper into their pockets when crossing bridges and tunnels owned by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Cash tolls on the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing went up yesterday from $8 to $12. Trucks will now pay $13 per axle. Peak-hour tolls for users of the E-ZPass electronic payment system went from $8 to $9.50.

The PATH now costs riders an extra 25 cents, pushing fares to $2.00 per trip.

The agency had originally proposed even steeper toll increases, but was forced to scale back after Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to veto them.

The Port Authority has been hit hard by security-related projects following the 9/11 attacks, a drop in revenue caused by the global economic slump, and the $11 billion World Trade Center complex.

Further increases are expected to be phased in over the next four years.

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