UPDATE: Turnpike Authority approves massive N.J. Turnpike, Garden State Parkway toll hikes

TRENTON, N.J. – A plan to hike tolls on the Garden State Parkway by 27% and New Jersey Turnpike by 36% was adopted by the Turnpike Authority on Wednesday; the tolls hikes were rammed through without the public being able to participate in person due to the ongoing statewide ‘stay at home’ order.

Some lawmakers fumed.

“Currently, people are completely occupied worrying about their health, lives, and livelihoods,” Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-13), all of Monmouth County, said in a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon. “Over a million residents have applied for unemployment. To move forward with a proposed toll hike is truly unconscionable.”

“Bureaucrats who control our highways are quietly fast-tracking massive toll hikes on New Jersey drivers when nobody is looking,” said state Senator Bateman (R-16) of Somerset County in a separate statement. “While our daily commutes may look different today, these toll increases will slam drivers with higher costs as our state reopens, making the New Jersey an even more expensive place to live, work, and raise a family. There has been nothing transparent about the process. It’s absolutely shameful.”

New Jersey’s road costs are already among the nation’s highest.

Today’s hikes will take effect on September 13th after the end of the summer season. Cash toll collections resumed last Tuesday after a COVID-19 hiatus