Date: Aug 11, 2011
Press Release Number: 88-2011
Statement from Martin E. Robins, Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers:
“These are hard times and our region can no longer take for granted the capital-generating machine that the Port Authority has historically been for our vital interstate transportation system. The abrupt and steep toll increases proposed by the Port Authority last Friday reflect the reality that the Port Authority, while suffering $2.6 billion in recession-related revenue losses, must both maintain vital interstate facilities and has been asked to support much new capital investment.
In this situation, something has to give, and it should not be the Port Authority’s valued bond rating. A bond rating downgrade would raise interest rates on the bonds it issues and would sharply curtail its ability to finance many important projects for years to come. That would be a regrettable outcome from this difficult passage.
Thus, some toll and fare increases are necessary at this time, because our region needs a financially healthy Port Authority to maintain and improve our region’s interstate transportation system. Yet, as the forthcoming hearings are sure to document, the proposed toll and fare increases will cause financial hardships for individuals and businesses directly affected.
I am confident that the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, in consultation with the Governors of New York and New Jersey, will make the right decisions in balancing the financial needs of the Port Authority, the interests of the traveling public and, most important, the region’s critical infrastructure investment needs.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman or Ron Marsico, 212 435-7777