DRPA votes to postpone toll hike amid close scrutiny

    The embattled Delaware River Port Authority’s board voted Wednesday to preserve senior citizen and commuter discounts on the authority’s four bridges.

    Currently senior citizens with EZ Pass can cross the bridges for $1.75, and regular commuters can get $6 per month off their Easy Pass accounts. The commuter break was scheduled to disappear and the senior toll was set to rise to $2 next Wednesday, but the DRPA board decided that, while they’re under fire for patronage giveaways and wasteful spending, it’s the wrong time to ask anybody to pay more.

    Pennsylvania treasurer Rob McCord said it’s the right choice.

    “You’ve got people in the middle of a recession who are having trouble paying those tolls,” he said.  “And the tolls themselves constitute a regressive tax.”

    The relief is temporary. It lasts until next summer, when the commuter discount will go away, senior tolls will rise to $2.50, and the rest of us pay another dollar. The board also eliminated two executive positions and voted to require vendors to disclose their political contributions.

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