Show & Tell: Reactions to raising tolls on major highways

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority voted to raise tolls on major highways including the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, a decision that has the backing of Gov. Phil Murphy. Reactions were decidedly mixed.

Tom Bracken, N.J. Chamber of Commerce:

Moving forward with the $24 billion capital plan proposed by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is exactly the type of forward-thinking investment that can help the state economically after this pandemic.”

Regina Egea, Garden State Initiative:

This vote by the Turnpike commissioners takes $524 million out of the hands of New Jersey residents who need it now more than ever to pay for everyday essentials like housing and food. That’s where the ‘stimulus’ needs to stay until New Jersey has a recovery plan that includes the middle- and lower-income workers, not in the hands of the Turnpike bureaucracy to spend on their favored suppliers.”

Greg Lalevee, IUOE Local 825 and ELEC:

Today’s decision to move forward with the capital plans is a welcome one for our members and an important step forward in rebuilding New Jersey’s economy. … This goes far beyond creating thousands of good-paying jobs — it’s also about providing the foundation for our economy to grow.”

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, Asw. Serena DiMaso and Asm. Gerry Scharfenberger:

It is completely astounding that the Turnpike Authority believed they should move forward with this toll hike process. We are in the midst of a pandemic. … It does not matter whether or not someone believes that a toll increase is necessary. Because the ultimate issue is that proceeding with a policy that requires public hearings during a pandemic is ridiculous and offensive.”