Murphy to approve NJ Turnpike, Parkway toll hikes
💲The Turnpike Authority Board OK'd a 3% toll hike it approved in October
💲 It's not clear how the board addressed Gov. Phil Murphy's objections
💲 A start date for higher tolls was not given
The second time is the charm for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to get its 2024 toll hike.
The authority's Board of Commissioners first approved the toll hike in its $2.62 billion 2024 budget in October less than two weeks before Election Day. The plan included a scheduled 3% toll increase. The Turnpike Authority has adopted an indexing system that allows yearly increases up to 3% without public hearings.
Gov. Phil Murphy quickly vetoed the budget because he was "not satisfied with the justification provided for the toll increases reflected in the budget and needed more information for why the board is taking this step."
Flash forward to Tuesday's meeting, which saw the board adopt its budget and the increase.
The start date for the new tolls is March 1, Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney said.
He says the average Turnpike toll for a passenger vehicle will increase by 15 cents, and the average Parkway toll for a passenger vehicle will increase by 5 cents.
Murphy approves budget
“Governor Murphy will approve the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s 2024 annual budget. By responsibly investing in the maintenance of our state’s highways and mass transit, we are continuing to prioritize the safety and mobility of all New Jersey residents and commuters," spokesman Lawrence Bailey said in a statement.
A connection to NJ Transit
Murphy did not address how the newly submitted budget addressed his earlier concerns.
A toll increase could help address another transportation concern: NJ Transit's growing budget deficit.
About $500 million in revenue generated by the Turnpike Authority has been dedicated to NJ Transit since May 2020. The agency announced a 15% systemwide fare hike to take effect July 1, its first increase since 2015.
The increase has been criticized as a burden on low-income riders. Public hearings on the plan are scheduled to be held the week of March 4 to 8.
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