Date: Jan 26, 2012
Press Release Number: 9-2012
Only Half of Qualified Travelers Have Signed Up to Take Advantage of 50% Discount Through Staten Island Bridges Plan
The Port Authority today strongly urged New York and New Jersey residents who take as few as six peak-period trips a month over the Bayonne and Goethals bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing to sign up for a newly expanded discount plan that will save them up to $1,500 a year.
The new discount plan, announced Sunday by Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, takes effect February 1. It allows New York and New Jersey E-ZPass users with non-commercial plates who enroll in the plan to pay $47.50 for 10 trips in a 30-day period, costing as little as $4.75 a trip, a 50 percent savings. The standard E-ZPass peak toll rate without the discount plan is $9.50. As with the current plan, customers will be charged for unused trips.
Under the expanded discount plan, based on current travel statistics, approximately 68 percent of travelers are projected to be eligible for savings of between $100 and $150 a month, or nearly $1,200 a year on their E-ZPass rush-hour tolls. Currently, only half of eligible users actually take advantage of the existing plan that required subscribers to pay $95 for 20 trips in a 35-day period.
The new plan improves on the existing discount by benefitting commuters who use the crossings less frequently. Commuters who make at least six peak-period trips a month will yield savings compared to the standard toll rate.
There are currently 18,500 accounts with a Staten Island address who subscribe to the discount plan. With the revised plan, the Port Authority estimates that an additional 20,000 residents could benefit. In addition, there are currently 12,500 accounts in the New Jersey Customer Service Center who subscribe to the plan. With the revised plan, it is estimated that more than 13,000 accounts could benefit.
Port Authority Chairman David Samson said, “This expanded discount plan affords the agency the ability to save our customers money during these challenging economic times, while giving us the ability to make the billions in investments in our tunnels, bridges and PATH system to help grow and strengthen the regional economy and create new jobs.”
Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, “We have heard from our customers that tolls are too high, and we found a way to save them money. Our plan puts cash in people’s pockets immediately, and we urge them to take advantage of it today to qualify for the savings. Call or sign up on the Internet – this should take you less than 5 minutes and can save you $100 to $150 per month.”
Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “There are thousands of New Jersey customers who use these crossings to go to work, school or to visit friends and family. Many of them will benefit and save money if the make slightly more than one trip a week over these bridges. That’s why we will step up outreach and marketing to grow the number of people who realize savings.”
To enroll in the program, contact either of these Customer Service Centers
For general E-ZPass information, visit www.panynj.gov/ezpass
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.