Monday, December 19, 2011

Proposed bill would give federal transportation secretary authority to roll back Port Authority toll hikes

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Michael Grimm, (R-Staten Island) have introduced a bipartisan bill that would grant the federal transportation secretary authority to rescind last summer's Port Authority toll increases.  The Commuter Protection Act would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether tolls are "just and reasonable" and require the Government Accountability Office to report on the transparency and accountability of toll agencies.

The controversal toll hikes raised bridge and tunnel tolls from $8 to $9.50 for E-ZPass users and $12 for cash payments. Those increases will rise to $12.50 and $15, respectively, by 2015.

Both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved the Port Authority toll hikes after first calling upon the agency to lower their original proposal.

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