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Get ready to pay more to travel: Port Authority approves fare and toll hikePosted: Updated:
Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have unanimously approved higher tolls and fares.
The agency says that the changes are needed to keep up with inflation and pay for capital improvements.
Changes include increased tolls at bridges and tunnels, reduced discounts on PATH train fares and higher fares for air trains to Newark Liberty International and John F Kennedy International airports.
Air train fares will go up from $5 to $7.75. PATH single rides fares will remain at $2.75, but multi-ride discounts for the PATH will be scaled back.
Tolls for the Bayonne Bridge, George Washington Bridge, Goethals Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels will rise to $16.
The reduction in multi-trip discounts for PATH riders will begin Nov. 1. Tolls at Port Authority-operated bridges and tunnels will rise in January.
Other changes include reduced discounts for E-ZPass peak and off-peak prices. Carpool discounts will also be eliminated.
Surcharges for taxis and app-based car services using the airports will begin next fall. In October 2020, there will be a $2.50 fee for Uber and Lyft drivers picking up and dropping off at airports. It will cost $1.25 for riders to use the “pool” option. Taxis will also pay a $1.25 for pickup fee.
State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg told Port Authority officials that these increases will hurt companies like New Jersey Transit – whose buses will eventually see an $8 increase to use bridges and tunnels.
“I understand well that $8 per bus in the realm of 25 or 36 cents per rider on a full bus doesn’t seem like a lot. But New Jersey Transit is a public corporation… I don’t think it makes sense to put additional costs on mass transit,” Weinberg said.
Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton defended the increases.
“Two-thirds of the Port Authority’s revenue comes from non-toll and not fare-sources. So, we go to every possible extreme to avoid both toll and fare increases. But we must, on the other hand, support investment in…our aging legacy facilities. Our infrastructure facilities are simply subpar,” he said.
This is the first fare and toll hike the Port Authority has approved in five years.
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