New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have issued a joint letter announcing that they have agreed to allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to raise bridge fares and tolls -- but not by as much as the Port Authority wanted and not as quickly as the Authority had hoped.
Also, the two Governors say that the increases (set to begin this September) will only be permitted once the commissioners of the Authority immediately approve and commence a comprehensive audit of the Authority. The Governors say this audit will be a "condition for not blocking the toll hike." The Governor's letter states: "reports of cost overruns, excessive overtime, and exorbitant spending must stop immediately."
Under the Governor's agreement, the first-year toll increase will be reduced from the Authority's proposed $4.00 to $1.50. And thr proposed $6.00 increase over four years will be reduced to $4.50 over five years.
Tolls on cars using EZ-pass will jump $1.50 in September 2011 and then 75 cents in December of each year from 2012 - 2015.
Tolls on cars paying with cash will have the same increase but will be subject to an additional $2.00 penalty (rounded off to the nearest whole dollar).
Fares on PATH trains will increase 25 cents a year for four years.
Tolls on trucks will also rise accordingly.