Tolls to increase 3% on New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway

(The Center Square) – Motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway will have to start shelling out more next year.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) will raise tolls by 3% starting Jan. 1, according to reports. The increase is the second toll increase in as many years.

“The purpose of the 3% indexing is to provide a stable funding source for capital needs,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney as saying. “The additional revenue will help pay for the unprecedented amount of work being done under the Authority’s long-term capital program.”

According to NJTA documents, the agency’s fiscal 2022 budget anticipates $2.3 billion in revenue. The agency expects an 8.4% increase in toll revenue on the New Jersey Turnpike and a 5.4% increase on the Garden State Parkway over the fiscal 2021 budget.

The budget anticipates increased traffic volumes from a year ago amid the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions.

The agency’s budget includes $672 million in operating expenses, a 7.9% – or $49 million – increase over last year’s budget. The increase primarily results from higher pension costs and “contractual salary increases” for state police, increased insurance costs because of “cyber insurance premiums” and higher New Jersey E-ZPass costs.

It also anticipates awarding more than $1 billion in “design, supervision, and construction contracts” for various projects. The NJTA’s system includes more than 1,100 bridges, 130 interchanges, 4,400 lane miles and 600 tolling locations.