rap # 233 12/19/11
VICARI WARNS COMMUTERS TO BRACE FOR TOLL HIKE
OCEAN COUNTY residents who depend on the Garden State Parkway to go to work will be hit with a 50 percent toll
increase beginning New Year’s Day.
"This increase will certainly ensure that Ocean County drivers that depend on the Parkway will not have a happy
start to the New Year," Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders rallied against the toll hikes when they were approved in 2008 under
former Governor Jon Corzine.
Under Corzine’s two-step plan, tolls rose 40 percent in 2008 and an additional 50 percent on January 1, 2012.
"I said it then and I’ll say it now " this increase is unfair to Ocean County," Vicari said.
Average car tolls on the Parkway will jump from 70 cents to $1.05.
New Jersey Turnpike car tolls will also increase an average of $1.10, from $2.20 to $3.30.
Vicari also renewed his call for Ocean County representation on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which also
oversees the Parkway.
"Ocean County is home to a larger stretch of the Parkway than any other county, but we have no say in the operation
of the toll road," he said. "This is taxation without representation."
Vicari said a local representative on the Turnpike Authority would have provided a voice to Ocean County commuters and
senior citizens who depend on the Parkway.
As the state continues to ignore the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ demand for the widening and improving
of Route 9, local drivers are instead forced to rely on the Parkway, he said.
Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little said the increase is another burden on residents still coping with a poor
"This toll hike couldn’t have come at a worse time," Little said. "The economic situation is getting worse, people
are earning less but are now required to pay 50 percent more just to go to work," he said.