On Wednesday, authorities in New Jersey approved a number of toll hikes that will hit truckers in the wallet starting in September.
On May 27, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority unanimously approved a plan to increase tolls on two major roadways for both passenger and commercial vehicle drivers starting September 13.
Tolls are set to increase by 36% on the New Jersey Turnpike. Truckers who are currently paying $56.85 to travel the length of the Turnpike will pay $77.30 for the same trip starting in September.
Tolls will also go up 27% on the Garden State Parkway.
The two toll increases are intended to fund a $24 billion plan to implement cashless tolling technology, widen portions of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, and build a bridge between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Also on Wednesday, the South Jersey Transportation Authority approved a 37% toll increase on the Atlantic City Expressway intended to generate $500 million for various projects. This toll increase will also go into effect on September 13.
Critics of the toll hikes say that authorities are using the cover of COVID-19 to push through the increases with little input from the public.
“Bureaucrats who control our highways are quietly fast-tracking massive toll hikes on New Jersey drivers when nobody is looking. While our daily commutes may look different today, these toll increases will slam drivers with higher costs as our state reopens, making New Jersey an even more expensive place to live, work, and raise a family,” State Sen. Kip Bateman said.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has expressed support for the toll increases.