Delaware River Port Authority to Vote on Toll Hike

By Kelly Bayliss
|  Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010  |  Updated 1:21 PM EDT
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Delaware River Port Authority to Vote on Toll Hike

Mary Schwind/ NBC Philadelphia

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The Delaware River Port Authority wanted to raise bridge tolls on four Philadelphia bridges this year, but now, they may have to wait.

Some DRPA board members are concerned that the agency is under scrutiny for its ethics after corruption allegations stemming from the agency’s public safety director’s resignation in July. His daughter was using the DRPA’s EZ-Pass to cross the Delaware for free.

The board members want to delay the increase – from $4 to $5 until 2012, claiming that the delay would work financially.

But there's a possible hang-up: Bond rating agencies expect the increased revenue. So some board members don't want to put off hikes unless they know their credit will hold up.

After a discussion on Wednesday, the board directed its staff and the advisers to get a better grasp of the consequences of delaying the increases. A vote on whether to press ahead with them
is expected on Dec. 8.

In the meantime, the staff will reassess the 2011 budget. If tolls and train fares aren't raised as currently scheduled, cuts deeper than the already planned two-percent would have to be made.
 

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