The Port Authority approved a fiscal health plan that will raise tolls and fares over the next few years, starting next month.
The new fares will balance transportation and economic development needs of region with toll and fare payers' economic realities, according to the PA press release.
The agency has approximately $14 billion in debt, Reuters reported.
The Capital Plan was recommended by governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York. They wrote in a letter to the PA that the hikes be made on the condition of a stringent audit of the Port Authority practices that led to the fiscal mismanagement that made these increases the only financially solvable solution in the first place.
The reports of cost overruns, excessive overtime, and exorbitant spending must stop immediately, Christie and Cuomo wrote in the joint letter. We will assure that every toll dollar is well spent and waste and abuse is immediately attacked. This audit will be twofold-it will focus on both a financial audit of the authority's 10-year capital plan to further reduce its size and cost and a top to bottom management review of the authority's finances and operations to find ways to lower costs as well as increase efficiencies.
The increases are lower than what was originally proposed.
Tolls for cars that have E-ZPass will increase by $1.50 in September and then by 75 cents each year through the year 2015.
Cars that pay with cash will have the same increase, but they will also have to pay a $2 penalty fee for using cash to get through the tolls.
Trucks that use E-ZPass will pay an extra $2 per axle in September and an additional $2 per axle in December of each year from 2012 to 2015.
Trucks that go through tolls paying cash will have the same increase but will have an additional $3 per axle cash penalty.
PATH train fares will increase by 25 cents each year for the next four years.
The improvements to be made under the new toll and fare increases include rehabilitation of the Lincoln Tunnel helix, completion of the World Trade Center, airport runway and taxiway modernizations, and PATH Car, signal, and station modernizations.