Turnpike Authority votes to increase tolls prices; Gov. Murphy says he won’t block it

It is about to once again get more expensive to drive in New Jersey. A 3% toll hike has been approved for both the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority voted on the increase as part of its budget. Gov. Phil Murphy has said he will not stand in the way of the higher price.
The breakdown is as follows for drivers: Expect an extra 15 cents per toll along the Turnpike, which the Turnpike Authority estimates will mean an extra $78 per year for an average commuter. The tolls will increase by 5 cents on the Parkway, bringing the yearly increase to $26.
The money will go to road improvements and major projects, including a $10 billion plan to improve part of Interstate 78.
But drivers are not interested in another rising cost to get to and from work or school. Aniya Alexandre is a full-time student who commutes to Hackensack for classes from Newark. Now it costs her about $8 to get to and from school. When told the money was going to improve the road, she wasn’t impressed.
“I feel like the potholes on the Garden State Parkway have been there for a couple of years, so I don’t see any changes - especially at [Exit] 145,” Alexandre says. “I spend around $150 a month on E-ZPass…There are no results. It’s all money being spent. No results.”
Others who commute on the Parkway five days a week say it’s already a pricey commute. Jose Rodriguez drives from Paterson to Kean University daily.
“Obviously, I would love not to pay at all to go to work. This is not even leisure travel,” Rodriguez says.
Murphy vetoed the very same budget proposal put forth by the Turnpike Authority this past October. But now he says he will not block the toll hike.
“Gov. Murphy will approve the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s 2024 annual budget. By responsibly investing in the maintenance of our state’s highways and mass transit, we are continuing to prioritize the safety and mobility of all New Jersey residents and commuters,” wrote Murphy spokesperson Bailey Lawrence in a statement.
The increase will begin later this year. This bump in toll costs comes one week after New Jersey Transit said it plans to increase fares by 15% in July. The tolls at bridges and tunnels into New York went up to $17 this month as well.