New toll hike plan rolled out; motorists not convinced

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has unveiled a new plan it says will scale back toll increases on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, but some motorists say the change is negligible.

In a letter to Gov. Jon Corzine, Turnpike Authority Chairman Kris Kolluri says the plan "meaningfully reduces" the toll hikes. The plan, however, calls for keeping the same increases over the next four years and canceling a toll hike in 2023.

A spokesman for Corzine will only say the governor has received the proposal and is considering it.

New Jersey drivers are more than willing to chime in, though.

"We're paying an exorbitant amount for gas," says Walter Waters, of East Orange. "Now it's the tolls. When do we stop? When do we rein in the spenders?"

"I think they should let it stay the way it is for now," says East Windsor resident Humphrey Ochia.

The legality of the toll hikes are still being examined, as more than $1 billion of the projected income is expected to be put toward a new tunnel connecting the Garden State and New York. New Jersey law prevents Turnpike and Parkway tolls from being used on non-highway projects.

Republicans and Democrats are contesting whether precedent would allow for the tolls to fund the tunnel project or not.

GOP: Toll hike not a long-term fix

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