New Jersey lawmaker wants the state to have more control over the
agency that sets tolls and manages bridges over the Delaware River,
according to local media.
Jersey and Pennsylvania governors appoint members to the Delaware
River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, but proponents of a bill to
require the commission to hold public hearings in both states before
increasing tolls say the agency operates mostly in secret and at
the expense of drivers.
sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, passed the Assembly
Transportation Committee and has been forwarded to the full House
measure also orders the commission to provide both governors with
detailed annual financial reports.
bill was introduced in January amid controversy over toll increases
the agency imposed last November for seven toll bridges it maintains
between the two states and questions about how the revenue is to
be spent, The Associated Press reported.
increase hiked tolls on trucks from 80 cents per axle to $2.25 per
axle. Tolls on cars were doubled from 50 cents to $1. In 2004, truck
tolls are to increase again to $2.75 per axle.
agency said the new rates were needed to help fund a 10-year, $526
million capital improvement plan.
then, The Morning Call reported that the commission intended
to use about $250 million from the increases for unauthorized projects,
including economic development.
officials have denied they misled anyone about the commission’s
signed into law, the provision must also be approved in Pennsylvania
due to an interstate agreement that requires each state and Congress
to adopt identical laws regulating its operation.