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NJ Turnpike, Parkway Toll Hikes Set for Jan. 1

Tolls increasing by 50 percent to raise money for state capital projects

Due to a phased increase approved by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority more than three years ago, tolls on both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway will go up around 50 percent, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

Under the new increases, toll rates on the Garden State Parkway will increase from $0.35 to $0.50 for ramp tolls, from $0.50 to $0.75 for two-way toll plazas, and from $1 to $1.50 for one-way toll plazas.

It is the third hike in tolls for the Parkway since its opening in 1954, and the seventh for the New Jersey Turnpike since that highway’s inception in 1951. The increases were voted on and approved as the second phase of a two-fold toll hike in October 2008, during the administration of former Gov. Jon Corzine.

Turnpike Authority Spokesman Thomas Feeney explained that the toll prices were originally raised to support a decade-long construction projects package totaling $7 billion, including a widening of the Turnpike and the Parkway south of Toms River–in addition to the organization’s $1 billion-plus contribution toward a new rail tunnel to cross the Hudson River.

However, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the rail tunnel project halted in 2010, claiming that the construction was certain to go over budget, and then redirected the over one billion dollars in revenues to other state transportation projects.

tryintosurvive January 03, 2012 at 09:51 PM
"All they have to do is refuse to agree to the union's demands" sounds like a good idea, but somehow for most all municipal and state contracts whoever is signing them does not say no. The negotiations seem to be shrouded in secrecy until the public finds out many years later about what has been agreed to. By then we are told that it we can only afford so many teachers or so many policemen because the total cost of each one is very large. If we want more we will need to raise taxes. It does not seem like the people doing the negotiating (on the town or state's side) are very saavy.
Martin Golan January 03, 2012 at 10:05 PM
That's my point. As I've said many times, govt in NJ is a corrupt mess, but singling out public unions --as if they are the sole cause of the problems -- is not the answer. For example, I was active in a campaign to eliminate or at least reorganize county govt. Even the county's patronage appointees agreed it would lower property taxes 10 pct (some say 20 pct or more). We got it on the ballot, and it passed in nearly all the towns in Essex County. But nothing has been done.There are many causes for all this that I could go into, but it's not the unions -- or at least not ONLY the unions. The political class in NJ (and elsewhere) has very cleverly diverted blame for the mess and, to repeat, I'm stunned by how many buy into it, based on their (undoubtedly justified) anger.
THOUNGDUC January 03, 2012 at 10:07 PM
MAC is life fair for everyone?? - NOOOOOOO
prosbus January 03, 2012 at 10:12 PM
I'm sorry but the cry that "unions protect workers that don't deserve it" is becoming strikingly similar to the "welfare mother driving a Cadillac" from the Reagan years. Strong image, plays of people's stereotypes-- but not much truth to it. Unions do far more good for workers (work conditions, benefits, compensation, a formal means of addressing a grievance) and benefit the economy (productivity) than anyone wants to admit. Many right wingers are using the current economic conditions as an excuse for saving money but it really is simply an excuse for anti-union sentiment. If the State of NJ paid into the pension plans of state workers like they were suppose to for the past 20+ years, this would be a non-issue.
Redrider765 January 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I just have one word for you propuss - Andriani. That man is the poster child for all that is wrong w/ public sector unions.
The Watcher January 03, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Redrider765 maybe you should look at the compensation your mayor and council get via health benefits etc. Fact is we allowed the banks to become too big to fail, make risky investments and bet against themselves. We bailed them out they borrowed money from the government to stay afloat at zero interest then were allowed to raise credit card rates and lower interest on bank accounts for the same people who bailed them out in the first place. The banks are not going to lend money to start businesses when they can make more money running over the "little people." Apparently you think that's OK as long as the people benefiting are not in a union.
William Mays January 03, 2012 at 11:13 PM
You guys are seriously complaining about paying $1.50?
Hobbs January 03, 2012 at 11:30 PM
The "little people" in City Hall get the same benefits. The benefits are so good that part time Councilwoman Beth Mason refused them when she was running for office and then asked for back when she lost. Considering he husband reportedly makes reportedly a few million dollars a year they must be that good, In fact the former mayor and convicted felon Anthony Russo and his wife Michele Russo thought those benefits were so good they stayed on them for years even after they were no longer entitled. :-) I wonder if Mrs. Russo's benefits in her new job in Brian Stack's Union City are as good as the ones the taxpayers of Hoboken gave her for so many years ?
BellairBerdan January 03, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Mac a more likely scenario would be that the employer would lay off the older employee closer to retirement to deny them their benefits or the long time experienced employee because they make more money. They'd love to replace them with those new hires that make so much less. Surely if that newest person is so valuable the employer would lay no one off or cut their own salaries in order to keep them. HA, like that will ever happen. If you think that in the private sector the best worker always wins, you're delusional. Like any job, a union member can be fired for poor performance. The only difference is that the union employer needs to document a reason for doing so.
Ken F. January 04, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I'll pay. It ain't no biggie.
Vinnie Frantantoni January 04, 2012 at 01:39 AM
They do not speak the truth. This may be the 3rd toll increase, BUT they failed to tell the whole story. When the GSP was built, all exit and entry ramps were FREE. While they did not always raise the price of the tolls they added tolls at the on/off ramps thereby increasing the cost of the same trip. They also closed some FREE exit ramps. Let's give Gov. Christie a call & tell him to repeal the toll increase since he canceled the rail tunnel & the toll increase was to pay for that tunnel. Another scam by former Gov. Corzine. Wanna really protest?? Cancel your EZ Pass and let them count all those coins the increase will generate.
prosbus January 04, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Two words for you....Paula Ohaus. The way the Zimmer backed Kids First Board of Education acted in her case is why you need unions.
The Watcher January 04, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Redrider765 you should look at super PACs they have more money and more influence than all the unions combined. They buy (literally) Government officials and the Supreme court says it's all right. So who's really running the country? If they don't play along then they run negative ads against them, and by the time the public finds out it's all lies it's too late. Most of the big corporations making billions don't pay any taxes. Warren Buffet admitted he pays less taxes than his secretary and congress still refuses to tax the rich (after all they may stop contributing to their campaigns). Let's have the laws apply to congress the same way they apply to us. Give them the same healthcare we have, stop them from voting on their own raises and pensions. Force them to put their raises etc. on the ballot after all isn't it a conflict of interest to vote on your own raise? Go after the government first (on all levels) they set the bad example.
Redrider765 January 04, 2012 at 04:42 AM
You are grossly misinformed. I could list the ways you are misinformed but that would be a waste of time. But I'll start w/ this, name me one company that made billions in profits that didn't have offsetting NOL's carry forwards. Bet you can't name one. And please don't say something stupid like GE b/c while they might have made billions last fiscal year, they lost billions in previous years before so it is a wash. Here is a thought for you. Stop getting your facts from the TV news b/c your entire rant was based on misinformation and half truths. If you knew anything about campaign finance, you'd know that the public service unions outspend everyone. The NEA alone outspends most groups and actually spends more money on political activities and lobbying than it spends on representational activites. BTW, in 2010 the NEA spent $50mm on political activities and lobbying, only spent $49mm on representational activities. They also spent another $89mm in gifts, grants & contributions and much of this went to groups that spend the money on political activities. Bet you had no clue about that. And they are far from the only union that buys off the very people who give them their raises.
The Watcher January 04, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Redrider765 you seem to have your own agenda I am not interested in profits or offsetting losses for previous years I said taxes. It wasn't a "rant" and I was not talking about "political activities and lobbying" They may influence congress , but they don't vote their own raises or pensions (like congress does) therefore there is no conflict of interest. PAC's are allowed to raise and spend as much money as they choose. Individual and group contributions on the other hand are limited, and subject to scrutiny. If it weren't for the unions we would still have sweat shops and you would probably be working in one instead of ranting and raving about tolls. Rant about the mayor and council who get outrageous benefits at the expense of the taxpayers, oh wait, never mind, they're not in a union. You're OK with the tolls good for you be a sheep with your EZ pass, but respect the fact that there are those of use who choose to exercise free will by not bowing down and allowing the government to suck every last penny out of us without the 1% being included in the equation. Warren Buffet is willing to own up to it. Guess you'll be the first in line when the government decides to put a chip under your skin for identification purposes as long as it isn't a union worker and they tell you it will save you a dollar. Have a happy New Year.
TaxPayer January 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Why do we in Bergen County have to pay 2 tolls to drive 6.5 miles? No other county has 2 tolls.
Redrider765 January 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If you are going to rant and rave about corporations not paying taxes then you should know what the hell you are talking about. You are clueless. And I am all for idiots like you not getting an EZ Pass but how about you idiots who insist on going through a toll both pay 100% of the cost of paying those dead weight workers who get fat salaries any HS dropout working at WalMart could do for minimum wage.
Ridgewood Mom January 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I think that part of the point, again, is that money is needed from somewhere to maintain it all, And that to acquire that money from taxes alone would mean that only people living in Bergen County and NJ would have to pay for them. With tolls, out of state transport that passes through Bergen county in and out of the city has to pay its fair share.
Monk January 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I vote "fair share" the most abused phrase of 2011. As for the toll increase, that's beer money out of my pocket, and I object to that.
Tom January 05, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Wow, there are mote than one Toms here. I don't prefer beer, I like a glass of red wine, it is better for you. There is new news that diabetics should not drink beer by the way.
The Watcher January 05, 2012 at 04:36 AM
The DPW garbage collectors offered to give back over $200,00 it didn't save them and the council refused to pay into their benefits.
Monk January 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Tom, Tom here. Maybe we need to come up with a way to differentiate ourselves. How about "Beer-swilling Tom" vs. "Wino Tom"? Or "Tom who posted before any other Tom" vs. "Tom.2", "Tom.3", etc. (There could be additional Toms out there.) What can I do to improve your enjoyment of beer? There are so many varieties! Stouts, Porters, Lagers, Ales .... Thank God I do not suffer from diabetes. I suppose it's the carbs that are the problem.
Martin Golan January 05, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I'm not a Tom, but that won't stop me from tossing in my 2 cents. You see, I just don't like beer, never have. I try -- it looks so tempting on a hot day when everyone is talking about having a "cold one," but I just don't like it. I could also impress my friends by ordering an obscure foreign beer in a restaurant. I do love wine though, mostly white. That's my drink!
Sally McBride January 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I COME TO PATCH FOR LOCAL NEWS!!! These stories that are posted on "multiple patch sites", are the only comments that show up on the right hand side of my town's page. HOW DO I GET LOCAL NEWS?
Monk January 05, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Sally, Tom the Beer Drinker here. You might be surprised to know that there are quite a few very fine breweries in NJ, and perhaps one that qualifies as local to you. As for the "non-local-Patch" article comments, it certainly confuses me sometimes. Someone explained it just a short while ago, saying it was currently not possible to have it otherwise.
Journey January 05, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I would suggest talking to the editor of you local version of patch. Hoboken.Patch has local news.
Hank January 05, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Tom is correct River Horse Brewery produced a fine "Belgian Freeze" this year
BellairBerdan January 05, 2012 at 08:42 PM
HobokenOwl, by your standards if I pay more for my car than you do, you should get out of my way on the road. That's the price you should pay for having a cheap car, right? I may also teach you that if you are on salary you give up the rights to overtime. That's your choice.
Sally McBride January 05, 2012 at 09:08 PM
All patches have local news, but when they cross post something like this, sites that have less traffic have all of their local posts bumped off the front page. Hoboken has enough other posts to keep some of them on the front page.
Steve Johnson January 06, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Sally - We're working on fixing this. Give us another 3-4 weeks. On the one hand, it makes sense for us to cross post a story like this, that applies to a lot of Patch towns, instead of asking each editor to write up basically the same story. But with our current software, you get the comments showing up on every single Patch and dominating the front page, which is not what we want. We've asked our developers for an option where we could keep the comments going, but not have them show up on the cover, at the editor's discretion (which would work on an article such as this, where there is a pretty good discussion going on from folks statewide) or else to make a local copy of the article that would only include comments from that local Patch, in instances where the topic is more local.

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