Commuters who use E-Zpass will save 50 percent on tolls beginning Feb. 1 when crossing the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Goethals and Bayonne and Outerbridge Crossing bridges.
The plan was developed at the request of Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo following the hefty August toll increase on other Port Authority bridges and tunnels.
E-ZPass users with non-commercial plates who enroll in the plan will pay $47.50 for 10 trips in a 30-day period, costing them $4.75 a trip, a 50 percent savings. The standard E-ZPass peak toll rate without the discount plan is $9.50.
Drivers who commute five times a week over the crossings can save nearly $1,200 a year on their E-ZPass rush-hour tolls, and $1,800 a year off the cash toll. This amounts to savings of between $100 and $150 per month.
The new discount plan improves on an existing discount by benefiting commuters who use the crossings less frequently.
Under the plan, subscribers pay $47.50 for 10 trips in a 30-day period, which gives them the full discount. However, commuters who make at least six trips will yield savings compared to the standard toll rate.
"We value all of the customers and every dollar that they pay at Port Authority crossings,” Christie said Monday. “In the first week of this program, travelers will see immediate savings in their pockets and not in the pockets of a government agency. This discount strikes a common sense balance between the Port Authority's need to invest in its interstate transportation system and meeting the needs of frequent customers."
Cuomo added, "You asked for relief and we delivered. This plan will save thousands of commuters hard-earned cash each time they go over one of these bridges, putting more money in their pockets at the end of each month."
The discounted Staten Island bridge toll rates will be adjusted for the years 2012 through 2015 in accordance with the toll and fare increase approved by the Port Authority in August. Under the plan, 10 trips will cost: $52.50 effective the first Sunday in December 2012, $55 effective the first Sunday in 2013, $60 effective the first Sunday in 2014, and $62.50 effective the first Sunday in December 2015.
—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM