The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates New York’s airports and several local bridges and tunnels, is proposing toll and fare hikes across the board, some of which could take effect this fall.
Board members on Thursday will discuss the proposed increases on tolls at its bridges and tunnels and fares on its PATH rail service and on trains to JFK and Newark Liberty International airports. Fares on the air trains to Newark and JFK airports haven’t risen in more than a dozen years, and on PATH trains fares haven’t risen in five years.
The Port Authority Board also will seek a $4 surcharge on app-based car services and taxis when they pick up fares at local airports, much to the dismay of ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft as well as the Taxi Workers Alliance.
According to CBS New York, cash tolls would rise from $15 to $16, and E-ZPass rates would rise $1.25 for both peak and off-peak periods, by the beginning of 2020. Officials said the hikes are meant to keep up with inflation and fund much-needed improvement projects.
The the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge, and Outerbridge Crossing would be affected by the toll hikes.
Meanwhile, The New York Taxi Workers Alliance expressed outrage over the proposed surcharges.
“Everybody out there knows that there’s an unprecedented crisis for the drivers in this industry. Uber and Lyft drivers are still earning below minimum wage,” Bhairavi Desai, of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance told CBS New York. “We’ve had nine driver suicides because of all the financial upheaval and instability.”
As an act of protest, drivers may refuse to transport travelers to local airports.
“Drivers are in crisis but the Port Authority underestimates our resolve,” Desai told NBC New York. “If they want a fight, they got one. Drivers: Get ready to shut down the airports.”