U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), U.S. Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), and members of the New Jersey state legislature today joined together at the George Washington Bridge to urge the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to suspend scheduled toll hikes until an audit is completed and reforms are put in place. 

“We stand here today with a simple message for Governor Christie and the Port Authority: suspend the next round of toll hikes and stop punishing New Jersey commuters,” stated Lautenberg. “New Jersey commuters shouldn't continue to pay the price for the Port Authority’s dysfunction.” 

Rothman says, “The toll hike proposal by the Port Authority is wrong and undeserved. Local commuters can’t afford to be footing the bill for years of mismanagement and cost overruns by the Port Authority. Before the Port Authority asks the already overburdened local commuters to pay this unprecedentedly high toll, Port Authority leadership must get their house in order.”

After raising tolls last year, the Port Authority has scheduled annual increases through 2015, beginning with an increase in December 2012 that would bring tolls to $13, and $10.25 with EZ-Pass, during peak hours. Under the Port Authority's plan, tolls would continue to increase each year, and cost commuters up to $15 by 2015.  

A recent external audit of the Port Authority found that the organization is “challenged and dysfunctional.” The first phase of the audit was released in February, and the second phase will be released in June.