Christie: Toll Hike Compromise in the Works

Thursday, Aug 18, 2011  |  Updated 5:52 PM EDT
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Christie: Toll Hike Compromise in the Works

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A day before the Port Authority is set to vote on steep toll and fare hikes, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are working on alternatives.

Christie spoke Thursday at an event in Elizabeth.

He says he and Cuomo are "very concerned" about a report that found the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey paid $86 million in overtime last year.

That's a 3 percent cut from the year before. Its budget specified a 20 percent cut.

Port Authority officials say they're taking further steps, but auditors should also recognize its unionized, regulated, round-the-clock business environment.

The agency recently announced its plan to dramatically raise tolls and fares to plug growing budget gaps.

The proposal calls for raising the PATH fare from $1.75 to $2.75, and the 30-day unlimited from $54 to $89.

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.

Christie said the two governors expect to give the Port Authority their suggestions by Friday. He didn't say whether he supports any increases.

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