The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved Thursday the first inflation-based adjustments to the agency’s tolls, fares and fees since 2015.
The Port Authority says the automatic increases are triggered when the cumulative impact of inflation on existing toll rates reaches $1, as measured from the last increase.
The cumulative impact of inflation since 2015 will reach this level in 2020, prompting an increase of the cash toll rate at all Port Authority crossings from $15 to $16, as of Jan. 5, 2020. The adopted proposal eliminates the E-ZPass discount for out-of-state accounts.
New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-12th District, introduced a resolution Thursday to keep commuter costs down by sparing certain buses and mini buses from the Port Authority’s proposed increases.
“People shouldn’t have to work more to afford going to work,” Dancer said. “It is unconscionable that the Port Authority would create its highest toll increases for the very people who are most likely unable to afford the increases and completely depend on the affordability of bus service.”
Individuals with lower incomes tend to depend on bus services for their daily needs. Approximately 30 percent of bus riders nationwide have an annual household income under $15,000, and nearly 70 percent have an annual household income below $50,000.
By 2026, the off-peak E-ZPass toll rate for Port Authority bridges and tunnels is scheduled to reach $16 per vehicle, while mini buses will increase to $21. The peak hour E-ZPass toll rate is scheduled to increase by 65 percent, while cash toll rates for buses and mini buses will increase by 25 percent and 23 percent, respectively.