Port Authority approves proposal to raise tolls and fares

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Port Authority voted Thursday in Jersey City to approve a proposal to increase tolls, fares and other fees at bridges and tunnels, airports and the PATH transit system.

The plan includes:

--Increasing tolls by $1 at the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, from $15 to $16
--Increasing Air Train fee from $5 to $7.75
--E-ZPass peak discount to be reduced from $2.50 to $2.25, off-peak discount to be reduced from $4.50 to $4.25
--PATH base fare will remain $2.75, but multi-trip discount to be reduced
--Adding a $4 per ride "ground access fee" for airport pickups in taxis and app-based for-hire vehicles, as well as a $4 drop off tax only for Uber/Lyft.

The plan will also eliminate some E-ZPass toll discounts for out-of-state drivers, and will end carpool breaks.

The plan will also increase the peak hour toll for a bus by 135% by 2026, compared to the passenger car rate.

The increases will pay for the $4.8 billion in additional projects added to the 10-year $32 billion capital plan. The projects include replacing the aging Newark Airport AirTrain monorail, funding the PATH improvement plan, planning work for a new Terminal 2 at Newark Airport and electric vehicle infrastructure.

The hikes will take effect in January.

"These recommended increases in tolls and fare are both needed and measured," Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said when the proposal was announced in June. "We also sought to spread the increases across all our operations to avoid undue burdens. We are wholly committed to delivering improved facilities as we ask our customers to share in supporting the infrastructure investments the region so desperately needs and deserves."

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