been complaining about recent bridge toll hikes along the Delaware
River for some time now, with little result.
But now, truckers
aren’t the only ones complaining.
to a report by The Express Times, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed
Rendell told an economic development meeting March 18 that he
was unaware of how much the tolls had gone up – a subject of significant
news coverage in the region – and that he intended to ask for
an explanation from the Delaware Bridge Commission.
fell short of guaranteeing a rollback of the toll hikes, and said
some hikes might be needed. But his comments toward the sizable
increases faced by users of the bridges – in some cases, 300 percent
hikes – were in general negative.
trucks and cars crossing bridges operated by the Delaware River
Joint Toll Bridge Commission jumped Nov. 30. Truckers’ tolls increased
to $2.25 per axle. A second round of planned hikes will cost truckers
$3.25 per axle starting in January 2004.
which operates 20 bridges between Pennsylvania and New Jersey,
said the new rates would help fund a 10-year, $526 million maintenance
have already generated considerable controversy. The Trentonian reported in early March that a portion of the toll hike was
going to give the top three executives of the Delaware Bridge
Commission a 45 percent raise. Frank G. McCartney, executive director
of the commission, told the newspaper the raises were designed
to “retain talent” to help with the commission’s plan to rehabilitate
its 20 toll and non-toll bridges.
local business officials at the meeting where Rendell made his
comments told the governor that the hikes were damaging their
businesses, and that the toll commission was “unsympathetic” to
the concerns, The Express-Times reported.
commission absolutely turned a deaf ear to this," Alan La
Fiura, president of Portland's Ultra-Poly Corp., said.