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Toll Hike Now In Effect For Bridges, Tunnels Between NYC And N.J.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- It's the season of giving, but for drivers traveling between New York and New Jersey, toll hikes weren't what they had in mind.

Effective Sunday, motorists were paying more to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the use of bridges and tunnels from New Jersey into New York City.

The third of five annual toll hikes took effect at 3 a.m. Sunday at bridges and tunnels.

Cars with E-ZPass tags will now pay 75 cents more when they cross the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethals bridges and Outerbridge Crossing, or go through the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.

That brings the E-ZPass peak toll to $11 and the off-peak toll to $9.

Cars paying cash will still pay $13.

The heaviest burden will be borne by trucks or towing combinations with six or more axles. Their off-peak E-ZPass rate has risen from $66 to $78, while the peak E-ZPass rate went from $72 to $84.

The toll hikes have met with derision from some elected officials, including Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. He told WCBS 880 the Port Authority does not need the money.

"If you look at their balance sheet in their latest filing, you would see that they are a healthy financial company," he said, "yet year after year, they continue to raise tolls and raise fees."

Fulop said New Jersey is getting the short shrift from the Port Authority.

"While they continue to say – the sound bite -- is poverty, the reality of the situation is if you look at the financials, that they are healthy today," Fulop said. "Where they are spending the money is in New York, and they are taxing New Jersey residents. From my standpoint, there is no reason for this toll increase."

Motorists told CBS 2's Janelle Burrell they are not happy about the third of five scheduled annual toll hikes.

"It's going to come to a point where you can't travel anymore," one man told Burrell.

"I think they're killing the people," another driver said. "It's not good."

Others were a bit more understanding.

"You have to pay for the maintenance, the tunnels, whatever," one man said. "I don't know what they're doing, but they know it's time to raise every year."

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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