NEW JERSEY - Bad news for drivers in the Garden State: The New Jersey Turnpike Authority reportedly approved a 3% toll hike for both the Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
Despite vetoing an October Turnpike toll increase proposal, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy's office said he will not block the newly proposed budget.
This means the toll hike will likely take effect later this year.
According to published reports, tolls will increase to an average of 15 cents on the Turnpike and 5 cents on the Parkway, but these amounts, of course, rely on several factors.
For example, a passenger car with an E-ZPass that enters the NJ Turnpike via the PA Turnpike and then exits on the George Washington Bridge during peak hours pays a $17.04 toll. This amount would increase to $17.55 once the toll hikes are approved.
NJ Transit fare hike plan
Meanwhile, NJ Transit plans to raise train and bus ticket fares by 15%, according to a new proposal.
If the proposal passes, the system-wide fare increase would go in effect July 1, 2024. No fare would increase more than 15%, the agency said.
According to NJ Transit, ridership continues to lag pre-pandemic levels, saying the agency is entering the 5th year of ridership that will be below pre-COVID levels.
Sample fares from NJ Transit.
"The 5th consecutive year of ridership below pre-COVID levels has resulted in a reduction of nearly $2 billion in fare revenue since March 2020," NJ Transit said in a statement.
The proposal also includes annual systemwide increases of 3%, to take effect on July 1, 2025, and again on July 1 of each subsequent year, the agency said. No fare would increase more than 3% annually.
The next public hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 4, at the Cherry Hill Public Library in New Jersey.
The last NJ Transit fare increase was back in 2015.