Cuomo Calls Plan to Raise Tolls, PATH Fare A "Non-Starter"

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011  |  Updated 2:39 PM EDT
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Port Authority Proposes Big Toll Hike

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Port Authority Proposes Big Toll Hike

Port Authority Proposes Big Toll Hike
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the the Port Authority's plan to dramatically raise PATH train fares and bridge and tunnel tolls is a "non-starter."

Cuomo said Tuesday that far more research is needed to determine the depth of the financial crisis faced by the bi-state Port Authority before tolls to cross the Hudson River are raised.

Cuomo didn't rule out toll increases once that review is complete.

He and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could veto the current proposal. On Monday, Christie said his reaction when he first learned of the plan was: "you're kidding, right?"

Under the plan announced Friday, peak tolls for E-ZPass drivers on Port Authority crossings would increase from $8 to $12 next month, and off-peak would go from $6 to $10. In 2014, both those tolls would increase another $2.

Drivers who pay cash would see a hike from $8 to $15 this year, and that would also increase by $2 in 2014.

The PATH fare is set to rise from $1.75 to $2.75, and the 30-day unlimited pass would shoot up from $54 to $89.

The Port Authority blamed its budget woes on various factors, including the costly $11 billion project to rebuild the World Trade Center, and increasing security costs at its facilities since Sept. 11.

The recession also "sharply decreased revenue below projections," the agency said. Revenue declined $2.6 billion below estimates, and some $5 million in projects have had to be cut, the Port said.

The Port's board of commissioners will consider the toll and fare plan at a meeting on Aug. 19.

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