Drivers who cross any of the eight Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s spans between New Jersey and Pennsylvania face two proposed toll increases this year and in 2024, authorities said.
The need to hike state bridge tolls is being blamed on lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed increase, announced Monday, would be implemented on April 3, if approved by the board of commissioners at a March 29 meeting. The proposed hike comes just a month after the bridge commission approved a 2021 budget that state officials boasted had no toll hike.
The 2021 proposed increase would affect the seven Commission toll bridges that accept E-Z Pass and cash toll payments" The Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1), New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202), I-78, Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22), Portland-Columbia (Routes 611, 46, and 94), Delaware Water Gap (I-80), and Milford-Montague (Route 206) bridges, officials said.
Four other toll bridges across the Delaware River in the Philadelphia region will not see a toll increase because they are operated by the Delaware River Port Authority. That Authority voted.to postpone a scheduled toll increase on the Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, and Betsy Ross Bridges until at least 2022.
Proposed 2021 rate changes would raise the $1 E-Z Pass toll for Class 1 passenger vehicles (two axles and less than 8 feet high) by 25 cents to $1.25. That class includes cars, SUVs and light trucks. The current $1 cash toll for Class 1 passenger vehicles would be increased by $2 to $3.
Drivers using the Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge, which opened in July 2019 will see less of an impact. The current $1.25 E-Z Pass toll for Class 1 passenger vehicles will not increase. The Toll By License Plate rate for Class 1 vehicles will increase to $3 from the current $2.60.
Tolls would also increase for trucks, buses and tractor trailers and are listed on the commission’s website at www.drjtbc.org/newtolls.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority ended 2020 with 15% less toll revenue than the agency anticipated in the 2020 budget, officials said. Toll hikes on the Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway took effect on Sept. 13, 2020.
The public comment period officially began on Monday and ends at 4 p.m. on Feb. 26. Comments can be made by email, mail, on the commission’s website at www.drjtbc.org/tollcomments or by phone at 1-855-721-0444.
Anyone who wishes to comment at any of three teleconference hearings on Feb. 17 and 18 must preregister ahead of the meeting dates, officials said.
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