The New Jersey Turnpike Commission has approved a set of toll hikes beginning this spring. The timing and amount will depend on the deployment of the EZ-Pass electronic toll collection system on the 118-mile-long road.
The increase for E-ZPass users will be 8 percent this year and an additional 8 percent on January 1, 2003. For cash customers tolls will rise 13 percent this year and another 13 percent in 2003.
It now costs $18.20 to drive an 18-wheeler the length of the Turnpike from the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Philadelphia in the south to the George Washington Bridge and New York City in the north. The first increase will raise that to approximately $19.65 for E-ZPass customers and $20.56 for cash customers. The second increase on January 1, 2003 will raise big truck tolls to $21.22 with E-ZPass and $23.23 without.
According to the Turnpike Authority the initial increase will coincide with the debut of E-ZPass on the toll road expected to take place in May. But delays have plagued E-ZPass implementation on the Turnpike and original deadlines have already passed.
A Turnpike spokesperson said the first toll hike will take place no later than January 1, 2001, whether E-ZPass has been successfully implemented by then or not.
E-ZPass is good at many eastern toll facilities including toll roads in New York State, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts as well as all bridges and tunnels around New York City. The Pennsylvania Turnpike expects to begin E-ZPass later this year.
To set up a commercial vehicle E-Zpass account call 800-288-6865 or visit the E-Zpass web site at www.ezpass.com. The New Jersery Turnpike also operates a web site at www.state.nj.us/turnpike.