(SAYREVILLE) – Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-19), Chair of the General Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee on Wednesday called upon the Port Authority to suspend any further toll hikes until it has rebuilt the public’s trust.
The assemblyman’s request was contained in a letter to David Samson, Chairman of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
The text of the letter reads as follows:
Dear Mr. Samson:
As an Assemblyman representing New Jersey’s 19th Legislative District and as Chairman of the General Assembly’s Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, I have heard from residents and businesses throughout the northern part of our state about the financial burden they face with the Port Authority’s recent toll hikes. In addition to this burden, there is a growing skepticism about the Port Authority’s justification for the toll hikes fed by the agency’s own conflicting explanations and the negative performance assessment contained in the management audit conducted by Navigant.
Many of the region’s residents use the Port Authority’s crossings on a daily basis and as a result pay more to the Port Authority in tolls than they pay to the State of New Jersey in income taxes. Yet, despite the agency’s demand on their household budgets, they see the agency as unresponsive to their concerns and immune from public accountability.
Given the foregoing concerns, I am writing to request that the Port Authority suspend the implementation of all future toll increases until such time as the public trust can be restored in the agency.
For nearly one hundred years, the Port Authority has played a vital role in the building the economy of the New York metropolitan area. It can continue to play that role for another hundred years, but only if it regains the public trust.
John S. Wisniewski, Assemblyman
Chairman, Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.