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PA Toll Hike Is Great For Mass Transit (If Not Drivers)

Time to ride the PATH!
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Time to ride the PATH! jpchan's flickr

So how are the new Port Authority tolls working out? In short: Great for mass transit, bad for parking lots. The Post today does some anecdotal reporting and finds that the hike, which went into effect earlier this month, has been an immediate bummer for local businesses. "A lot of people are taking the train now," an attendant at a garage at Seventh Avenue and West 31st Street told the tabloid. "Before, we made about $2,500 a day. Now we make about $1,800."

But if the hikes are hurting businesses in the home of the most expensive parking in the country or even on traffic on the crossings themselves, well, the Port Authority doesn't really have an opinion...yet. “It’s really too soon to tell. It just went into effect. It would be premature to say now if it is causing any decrease in traffic," said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward.

Still, it isn't just parking attendants who are saying things have been different since the hike. Reportedly NJ Transit, PATH and interstate busses have been extra crowded since the bump, with more commuters choosing to take mass transit rather than drive into town. “I used to bring my car in twice a week. But I won’t do that anymore, because it’s too expensive,” one commuter from Morris County told the paper. He now takes the bus.

On the one hand, crowded extra crowds are definitely a pain for workers who were already using mass transit but on the other hand? Its hard to get upset about people not driving in general. It is, after all, the more environmentally sound way to travel. Imagine what adding tolls to the East River could do to traffic in Manhattan...

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