Turnpike board votes unanimously to hike tolls

Turnpike officials voted unanimously Friday to nearly double tolls on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike over the next four years.

The 40 percent increase will begin taking effect Dec. 1. Tolls will be hiked an additional 53 percent in 2012.

"We can't certify at this point our bond coverages for the coming year, and there are a number of projects that need to get done including bridge deck repair, the widening of the turnpike, the widening of the Garden State Parkway, and just the overall maintenance," says spokesman Joe Orlando. "The money's not there as it was and the costs go up everywhere."

Motorists say the hikes will hurt, especially as the country faces an uncertain economic future.

"I don't know what the people are going to do especially those who don't have good jobs," says Joseph Lopes, of Glassboro.

"If you're traveling everyday, it's going to be brutal," says Kevin Murges, of Somerset. "You're almost doubling the costs there. It's doubling you're expenses."

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