An agreement has been reached with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to provide relief to local drivers and eliminate the additional tolls, State Senators Nicholas Sacco and Brian Stack have announced. Sacco is also mayor of North Bergen and Stack is also mayor of Union City.
The deal comes in response to constituent concerns after a reconfiguration of the New Jersey Turnpike’s Exit 16E/18E interchange led to residents of nearby towns being forced to pay dramatically higher tolls.
Under the reconfiguration, a driver traveling from Newark Airport at Exit 14 to Secaucus at Exit 16E is now being charged an additional $2 in tolls, raising the total cost by 69 percent for the same trip.
Drivers whose vehicles are registered in North Bergen, Union City, Secaucus, Guttenberg, West New York and Fairview will now automatically receive a special discount through their E-ZPass accounts. The discount will allow them to pay the original 16E toll, rather than the inflated 18E toll that they had recently been forced to pay.
“I would like to thank the Turnpike Authority for being receptive to our concerns and reversing this policy that created what amounts to an unfair additional tax on my constituents,” said Sacco. “Especially in these uncertain economic times when inflation is causing prices to rise, the last thing residents need is higher tolls for the same trips they have been taking for years. Now, the residents of these nearby towns will be protected and will soon start to receive this special discount with no need to register or take any action as long as they are signed up for E-ZPass.”
Sacco credits Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli with bringing the situation to his attention, as well as his colleague Senator Stack for standing strong against the increased tolls for local residents.
“When Senator Sacco brought this issue to my attention it was clear to me immediately that these higher tolls were an unfair burden on the residents of Union City and surrounding communities and that we needed to take action right away to correct this wrong,” said Stack. “Especially for working people who are struggling to make ends meet, we should always be looking for ways to reduce their financial burden and help them live a better life.”
The reduced tolls for residents in the designated areas will go into effect after a review process is completed by the Turnpike Authority and a final vote is taken by its board. This is expected to occur in Spring 2022.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.