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Port Authority Project Spending Could Force Tolls Up Again

Hudson River crossing tolls were raised Sunday, but agency watchdogs and transportation experts think several ambitious Port Authority projects could force them up again soon.
Hudson River crossing tolls were raised Sunday, but agency watchdogs and transportation experts think several ambitious Port Authority projects could force them up again soon. Photo Credit: Facebook - Fort Lee Historic Park

FORT LEE, N.J. -- With the toll hike barely rolled out, insiders are pointing to four major spending projects by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which may push the river crossing prices up again in the very near future, according to a story in Nj.com.

As of Sunday, Dec. 6 cash tolls went to $15 per crossing. Nj.com said experts don’t expect toll hikes immediately, but projects in the works right now will cost as much as $16.5 billion, likely forcing tolls up again.

The needed projects include replacing the midtown Manhattan bus terminal, which is old and too small to service current commuter needs. The Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport is also in need of upgrading and expanding, probably indicating a new terminal will be built; and the extension of the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rail line to Newark Airport is long awaited, as is replacing the airport’s Monorail, Nj.com reported.

Experts believe a new toll hike is indicated, but would be extremely unpopular, Nj.com said. The capital projects under discussion are not even in the Port Authority’s budget -- but demand for them is great. The Sunday toll increase is the last step in increases put into place in 2011, and those were also very unpopular. In the meanwhile, mass transit improvements have not been forthcoming.

Motorists want tolls to remain steady for at least a few years, the New Jersey director of the National Motorists Association, Steve Carrellas, told Nj.com.

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