If you gotta have hike, this is more like it. The Port Authority board has just voted 9-0 to raise tolls on the Hudson River crossings by $1.50 and to raise the cost of a PATH ride $.25 a year for the next four years. The more palatable development came after governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie last night proposed them instead of the crazy-town bumps the PA initially proposed. The totally unsurprising move also came hot on the heels of a damning audit of the agency's overtime expenses.
The newly approved increases will take effect next month and will make EZPass tolls $9.50 ($12 if you are paying cash). The plan also calls for the EZPass tolls to rise an additional three dollars over the next four years to $12.50 in 2015 ($15 if you are paying cash).
In addition to proposing the just-approved tolls, the governors of New York and New Jersey also have called for a "comprehensive audit" of the Port Authority in exchange for not vetoing the hikes: "The reports of cost overruns, excessive overtime, and exorbitant spending must stop immediately," they wrote. "We will assure that every toll dollar is well spent and waste and abuse is immediately attacked. This audit will be twofold-it will focus on both a financial audit of the authority's 10-year capital plan to further reduce its size and cost and a top to bottom management review of the authority's finances and operations to find ways to lower costs as well as increase efficiencies." Sounds like a good idea to us! You can read their full letter here: