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Some Jersey Drivers Avoid Toll Hikes [POLL]

Garden State Parkway toll increase
Garden State Parkway toll increase (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

After tolls on the Turnpike and the Parkway went up 50 percent on Sunday, there was a lot of speculation that some drivers might decide to avoid the toll roads to save money. When everybody headed back to work on Tuesday after the long holiday weekend, that’s exactly what happened- but most experts don’t think the trend will last.

Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney says “our traffic engineers had predicted a 4-point-2 percent drop in traffic, and what we saw was about 2-point-8 percent on the Turnpike, and 3 percent on the Parkway- compared to the same time period last year.”

He says this wasn’t surprising because “any time there’s a toll increase, some percentage of traffic looks for other routes to take – to avoid paying the tolls…however our experience in New Jersey -with both the Turnpike and the Parkway – is that those drivers come back to the toll roads fairly soon…no one likes to pay more for tolls or anything else, but I think after a short period of time using alternative routes people discover that they’d rather pay the additional toll than spend the additional time on the road to get to where they’re going.”

Feeney adds “I guess everybody has their own equation – their own math to figure out whether they can afford to pay the extra money or the extra time- which they’d prefer.”

 

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