N.J. Turnpike tolls rise average 50 percent

Starting New Year’s Day, it will be more expensive to travel on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Tolls are going up by an average of 50 percent.

It’s not just drivers who are being affected by the toll hike, according to Gail Toth, executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association.

“We’re all going to suffer at the cash register because pretty much everything that you buy or use in New Jersey comes by truck,” she said. “Eighty-five percent of the freight moves by truck.”

Toth said it could be the end of the line for truckers who can’t absorb the higher costs. And transportation experts believe the toll hike may cause more trucks to take other roads and cause greater traffic congestion.

“It will have an outsized effect on the movement of traffic through traffic lights, and drivers will experience greater congestion,” said Martin Robins, director emeritus of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. “Hopefully, there won’t be an increase in accidents.”

Turnpike Authority officials maintain the higher tolls are needed to pay for road and bridge projects.

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