Drivers should get ready to pay more at the tolls, especially if they don’t have E-ZPass.
On Wednesday, October 27, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) approved a number of toll rate hikes including raising the cash fares at the major bridges and tunnels and the Hudson River by $1 and increasing the tolls by 50 cents at the Rockaway crossings. These hikes will officially go into effect on December 30.
In addition, the authority also voted to increase fares for E-ZPass users by 5 percent – a decrease from the 10 percent hike that was originally proposed. The Authority said that after a number of public hearings, it decided to decrease the hike for E-ZPass customers, hoping to encourage more drivers to sign up for E-ZPass instead of paying the significantly higher cash fares.
The MTA also announced that they are trying to come up with ways to make it easier for customers to sign up and use their E-ZPass. The agency will introduce a new card next year that will allow customers to go to hundreds of retail locations in the region and reload their E-ZPass accounts with cash using the same process that prepaid debit card customers use to reload these cards today.
The agency hopes that the toll hikes will show a 7.5 percent increase in revenues collected at the seven bridges and two tunnels it controls. This increase and another one expected in 2013 was agreed to in the bailout package the State Legislature finalized with the MTA last year.