If the point of the Port Authority's September toll hikes was to push more people to take mass transit, they've worked like a charm. Between September 19th and November 22nd, PATH ridership between Manhattan and New Jersey saw an uptick of about 560,000 riders (or 3.7 percent). Meanwhile 890,000 fewer cars and trucks used the Port Authority's bridges and tunnels in that period. Still, there is good news all around: The Port Authority is expecting to take in 20 percent more revenue than it did last year.
Official numbers for New Jersey Transit are currently unavailable, but are said to also be slightly up in the wake of the PA's toll hikes. Back in September the PA raised tolls to $12 from $8 for the Hudson River crossings for those paying with cash. The hike was only to $9.50 for E-ZPass users, so you'll be shocked (SHOCKED) to learn that the number of EZ-Pass riders just happened to jump up 3.5 percent in the past two months.
This information seems to confirm anecdotal evidence from Manhattan garages that the hike had meant fewer drivers coming into town. Of course, this isn't the first time such a hike has led to a bump in mass transit commuters. A similar drop in drivers and jump in straphangers was seen around the 2008 fare hike. Everything managed to equalize somewhat by 2010.