Commuters are paying more to drive from New Jersey into New York City Monday morning, a day after the next phase of toll increases kicked in at Port Authority bridges and tunnels.
Cash tolls on the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing increased $1 to $13 on Sunday.
Tolls for E-ZPass users went from $9.50 to $10.25 during peak commuting hours and from $7.50 to $8.25 during off-peak hours. The changes took effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
"That's a lot for daily commuters," Jersey City resident Eldy Pavone said of the toll hikes. "On top of the recession, on top it's the holidays, people are losing their jobs. We just went through Sandy."
The Port Authority last raised tolls in September 2011 and is expected to raise tolls for four straight years through 2014.
The bistate agency said it needed to offset security-related projects following the 9/11 attacks, a drop in revenue caused by the global economic slump, and the $11 billion World Trade Center complex.
Port Authority tolls will next go up on Dec. 1, 2013 unless a lawsuit against the increase is successful. And another 75-cent to a $1 increase is planned for 2014.
"It's getting pretty tight," said driver Richard Montgomery. "But what are you going to do, who are you going to complain to?"