Port Authority Board Approves Hikes  to Tolls, Fares, and Fees

Port Authority Board Approves Hikes to Tolls, Fares, and Fees

File Photo

The JFK Airport AirTrain fare will jump to $7.75 from $5 per trip effective Nov. 1, 2019.

By Forum Staff

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners Thursday approved increases to the agency’s tolls, fares, and fees.

The cash toll rate at all Port Authority crossings will be bumped up to $16 from $15, as of Jan. 5, 2020. The adopted proposal also eliminates the E-ZPass discount for out-of-state accounts. According to the agency, this is the first inflation-based toll increase to the agency’s six bridges and tunnels since 2015 in line with the inflation-adjustment schedule mandated by the board in 2008 and reaffirmed in 2011. The E-ZPass peak discount for cars will be reduced to $2.25 from $2.50; and the E-ZPass off-peak discount will be reduced to $4.25 from $4.50.

Increases to the AirTrain fares at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, which, as the authority pointed out, have not changed since 2003 and 2005, will go into effect later this year. The fare will jump to $7.75 from $5 per trip effective Nov. 1, 2019. For those AirTrain commuters that use the system frequently, including airport employees, they will still be able to purchase multiple trips at the current discount rate of $25 for 10 trips, PA officials noted.

In addition, there will be changes to PATH’s fare structure, with the PATH base fare remaining at its current $2.75 for a single trip but reducing the discount for PATH multi-trip fares. The per-ride price for multi-trip purchases (10-trip, 20-trip or 40-trip options) will be adjusted to $2.50 on Nov. 1, 2019, and $2.60 a year later. After 2020, PATH will maintain an inflation-based adjustment mechanism for all fares.

An airport ground transportation access fee, to be implemented in late 2020, will be charged to all for-hire vehicles and taxis. This fee will be $2.50 for for-hire drop-offs and pick-ups; $1.25 for pooled for-hire drop-offs and pickups; and an initial taxi fee of $1.25 per pick-up.

Additionally, the authority’s Board of Commissioners announced that the bridge and tunnel carpool discount will be eliminated. Toll booths are being phased out as part of the agency’s transition to cashless tolling, and it is difficult to offer a carpool discount without toll booth operators to see how many passengers are in a car, PA officials reasoned. Also, the agency’s experience with the carpool discount has raised safety concerns since significant numbers of people stand on the shoulder of busy bridge and tunnel approach roads waiting for pick up, and to allow drivers to pick them up and secure a carpool discount. The discount is used today by a relatively small percentage of vehicles – about 3.2 percent.

“While it’s never easy to ask the public to pay more to use our facilities, the 1,300 comments we received led to important changes to the proposal,” said PA Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The board will continue to listen to the public as we implement these changes that help the Port Authority to enhance mobility and accommodate regional growth and economic activity.”



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