Three months after Murphy vetoed the Turnpike Authority budget over a 3% toll hike, the agency is set to approve the increases again Tuesday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
New Jersey Turnpike commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on a 2024 budget that includes a 3% toll hike, less than a week after NJ Transit announced it plans to increase fares up to 15% starting in July.
If the Turnpike Authority’s budget is adopted Tuesday, the average New Jersey Turnpike toll would increase by 15 cents to $5.11, and the average Garden State Parkway toll would rise by 5 cents to $1.57, according to Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney.
When the Turnpike board first adopted its budget in October with the toll hike, Murphy vetoed it, saying he was not satisfied with the justification for toll increases and needed more information on whether they were necessary. Turnpike commissioners in 2020 approved a plan to have automatic toll increases of up to 3% annually.
Murphy’s veto came after Democratic legislative leaders, including Senate President Nick Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, called on him to keep tolls from rising. Republicans criticized the move, accusing Murphy of trying to win over voters ahead of November’s election, when all 120 seats in the Legislature were on the ballot.
A spokesman for Murphy declined to comment on Tuesday’s Turnpike Authority meeting. Murphy’s chief of staff, Diane Guiterrez-Scaccetti, also serves as state transportation commissioner and previously chaired the Turnpike board.
Cost increases are not relegated to the Turnpike, the Parkway, and NJ Transit. Motorists using Hudson River crossings controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saw a 63-cent increase toll hike this year. And drivers into New York will also soon be charged a new toll once congestion pricing goes into effect — a $15 fee for drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street.
It is not clear when the Turnpike and Parkway toll increases would go into effect if approved on Tuesday. Feeney said it will be discussed during the meeting.
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