AAA sues to stop NY-NJ port toll increases

The American Automobile Association of New York and New Jersey has sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to stop toll increases on New York City bridges that began in September.

The complaint in federal court in Manhattan claims the higher tolls violate a federal law that requires interstate tolls be set at “just and reasonable” rates, AAA said in a statement.

Toll increases began Sept. 18 on the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethals bridges.

The Port Authority said in a statement the suit “is without merit.”

Toll for E-ZPass customers during peak hours increased from $40 to $50 for a 5-axle truck and will rise by another $2 an axle each December in 2012 through 2015. Cash customers get hit harder, paying a penalty of $3 per axle. The tolls apply to eastbound crossings.

The current E-ZPass off-peak fee is $35 and the overnight fee is $27.50. The overnight window has been expanded to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Most of the revenue raised will go to development projects, including the World Trade Center reconstruction in Manhattan.

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