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Commuters Face Higher Hudson River Crossing Tolls For Start Of Work Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Monday morning's commute will feature higher tolls and fares for Hudson River crossings.

The Port Authority's controversial toll and fare hikes took effect and now commuters are paying as much as 50 percent more to cross bridges and tunnels.

"Man, that's all we need," one driver told 1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan at the Holland Tunnel. "I don't like it. It's too much."

As of 3 a.m. Sunday, the cost for crossing bridges and tunnels jumped $4 to a new total of $12. For E-ZPass users, tolls spiked $1.50 to $9.50.

If you pay cash, there's a $2 surcharge.

LISTEN: WCBS 880's Monica Miller reports on the increases


LISTEN: 1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan spoke with drivers at the Holland Tunnel


Train passengers are also on the hook: PATH fares went up to $2.

While these tolls and fares may be tough to take, they're scheduled to rise even further, with Hudson River tolls at $12.50 by the 2015 and PATH train fares up to $2.75.

Residents on both sides of the Hudson were not pleased with the hikes.

"I think it's terrible. Times are rough, rough for everyone," said Jibran Khan of Queens.

"It's nuts. I mean you can only tax people so many times and raise, because the economy's not that great," said Robert Bordeaux of Jersey City.

Representatives from the Port Authority said they needed the increase to offset low revenue due to the down economy. Officials also said they needed more money to help pay for World Trade Center construction.

AAA said the use of money for that type of construction violates federal law. Robert Sinclair, of AAA, said a prior legal ruling states that toll revenue must be used for transportation initiatives.

"We think that increasing tolls to pay for costs over at the World Trade Center violates that legal decision and will impede interstate commerce and establish a new and ill-conceived policy of diverting toll revenues to local real estate development projects," Sinclair said.

AAA is suing to block the toll hikes, but in the meantime the only choice drivers have is how to pay for them.

"If your salaries are not being raised, it's costing you," one driver in Jersey City told CBS 2's Kathryn Brown. "What are you going to do? Do I pay my rent, do I pay my mortgage, do I eat, do I get my medication?"

What do you think of the Port Authority's explanations of the hikes? Sound off in our comments section below…

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