The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission approved a new toll rate structure that will go into effect July 1.
The I-78 Toll Bridge
The I-78 Toll Bridge

Under the new toll schedule, the Commission will continue to provide discounted E-ZPass rates for regular commuters and for trucks that travel during off-peak periods.

"We have reached a juncture where we can't put off a toll adjustment any longer," said Frank G. McCartney, the Commission's executive director.

The increase was needed, officials say, to generate revenue to meet debt service obligations, ensure uninterrupted execution of the agency's capital program, and offset lingering diminished truck revenue collections resulting from the 2008-2009 recession.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission was formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in 1934. It operates seven toll bridges and 13 toll-supported bridges, including the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge on I-80, the Interstate 78 Toll Bridge, the Easton-Pillipsburg Toll Bridge on U.S. Route 22, the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge on U.S. Route 202, the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge on U.S. Route 1, and others.

The DRJTBC was the lone major regional toll agency in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-New York area that did not increase any of its toll rates during or immediately after the recent "Great Recession." In fact, during a 19-month period from January 2008 into July 2009, seven other toll agencies in the region raised their toll rates in some capacity, but the DRJTBC did not.

Under the 2011 toll adjustment, commercial (truck) toll rates will rise by 75 cents per axle - to $3.25 from $2.50 per axle for non-pickup two-axle trucks, and to $4 from $3.25 per axle for trucks with three or more axles.

The new rate schedule will maintain the 10-percent discount for trucks that travel across a Commission bridge during off-peak hours - 9:01 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.

Overall, the DRJTBC's toll rates for trucks and other commercial vehicles will remain less than the rates charged by all other Delaware River toll agencies, according to the agency.

The Commission's last adjustment for trucks - the final element of an increase originally authorized in 2001 - took effect May 19, 2007.

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