AAA Asks Feds to Block Toll Hike; Say Increase Violates Federal Law


AAA is urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to block a plan to increase tolls by as much as 50 percent on the bridges and tunnels between New York City and New Jersey beginning Sunday, saying the hikes violate federal law.

Cash tolls on the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bride and Outerbridge Crossing are scheduled to rise from $8 to $12 at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Peak-hour tolls for users of the E-ZPass electronic payment system will go from $8 to $9.50.

By December 2015 cash tolls would increase gradually to $15 under a plan approved Aug. 19 by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Peak-hour tolls for E-ZPass users would rise gradually to $12.50.

Besides the sticker shock to commuters, AAA said Thursday that it objects to using toll revenues for building the new World Trade Center at the site owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“One of our primary missions is to make sure that any tolls and revenue and any user fees go back into transportation,” said Marta Genovese, vice president of legal affairs for AAA. “But in this case it’s going into a speculative office development.”

The group said the increase violates a federal law that requires bridge tolls to be “just and reasonable,” and it sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking him to act.

“It’s an egregious example of the motorists getting ripped off,” AAA New York spokesman Robert Sinclair said.

In addition to the bridge toll increases, the fare on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson subway line will rise from $1.75 to $2 on Sunday. By 2015 it is scheduled to increase to $2.75.

The AAA claims the increases violate a 1987 U.S. law regulating bridge tolls. The law applies to bridges that carry interstate commerce over “any of the navigable waters of the United States.”

The Department of Transportation said LaHood would respond directly to the AAA. It gave no immediate comment.

(Source: NBC New York)


  1. Finally somebody watching our backs from these dirty politicians! Perhaps the pa could build me a nice 200 story house, I’ll donate doughnuts to their unionized personnel daily, so they don’t have to pollute our air driving to mcdonalds, we should round them all up and Put them up in the working environment they are begging for! An office where they could wait for everyone to arrive prior to going to work, and they should be supplied with enough doughnuts for them and their families, and should they get any clogged arteries etc, it will be considered a work related injury and they should get doughnut deliveries at home in bread (for all of us working ppl aka breakfast-in-bed.)

  2. I am amazed at the chutzpa of the Port authority to charge so much to pay for the WTC! What benefit are we ever going to get from the WTC? Why on earth should we pay for it? If they don’t have the money, that’s their problem. I don’t care if it doesn’t go up until THEY come up with the money, not US. What happened to the insurance money? IT’s probably sitting in someone’s retirement account!