What to Know
- Get ready to spend more money to cross bridges, ride trains and take taxis to New York-area airports
- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has proposed raising tolls at its bridges and tunnels and hiking fares on its PATH rail service
- The proposal also includes raising tolls on trains to JFK and Newark Liberty International airports
Commuters may need to get ready to spend more money to cross bridges, ride trains and take taxis to New York-area airports — but taxi drivers are not going to take the hikes sitting down.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has proposed raising tolls at its bridges and tunnels and hiking fares on its PATH rail service and on trains to JFK and Newark Liberty International airports.
Toll increases tied to inflation at the authority's four bridges and two tunnels were authorized by the Port Authority board in 2008 and again in 2011. Tolls rose in four scheduled increases between 2012 and 2015. Based on inflation since then, a threshold will be reached in 2020 to require another hike, the Port Authority said.
The proposal also makes changes to three other aspects of the toll schedule: discounts for out-of-state E-ZPass accounts; the NY/NJ Staten Island Bridges discount program; and the Carpool Discount program.
Cash tolls would rise from $15 to $16, and E-ZPass rates would rise $1.25 for both peak and off-peak periods, by the beginning of 2020, under the proposal described Tuesday.
The air trains to JFK and Newark airports would rise from $5.00 at JFK and $5.50 at Newark to $7.75 at both. Single-ride PATH rail tickets would stay at $2.75 but discounts for multi-ride passes would be significantly reduced, beginning as early as November 1.
It's also seeking a $4 surcharge on taxis and app-based car services at New York-area airports.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance had harsh words after Port Authority's announcement, saying the cash-strapped agency just wants to "steal the food off (drivers) tables."
This fee — on top of a devastating $2.50 congestion surcharge in Manhattan and after a 36% drop in revenue for yellow cab drivers — appears manufactured at the state level to wipe out a sector that has kept the airports moving for decades," said NYTWA spokesperson Bhairavi Desai.
"Drivers are in crisis but the Port Authority underestimates our resolve," Desai said. "If they want a fight, they got one. Drivers: Get ready to shut down the airports."
The Port Authority said Tuesday the increases are needed to keep up with inflation and pay for more than $30 billion in capital projects. Those include a new air train to LaGuardia Airport, a new terminal at Newark Liberty Airport and improvements to the PATH system.
Public hearings will be held next month. A board vote could happen in September.