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Delaware River and Bay Authority approves revised toll increase

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Aerial view of Delaware Memorial Bridge at dusk. 

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Commission on Feb. 20 approved a toll increase expected to generate an additional $32 million in revenue. The last general toll increase took place on July 1, 2011.

This revised toll schedule, which first passed in December, sets the rate for passenger cars and small trucks at $5.00. Commercial vehicles will pay $2.00 more per axle. The agency’s discount programs, commuter and frequent traveler, will also be adjusted for the second time in more than 30 years.

One of the changes was the adoption of a preferred rate for New Jersey E-ZPass and Delaware E-ZPass service center account holders.

“E-ZPass saves customers’ time, reduces auto emissions and enhances fuel efficiency,” said Executive Director Tom Cook. “We believe that establishing a preferred rate for the home agencies here will encourage Delaware Memorial Bridge customers who pay with cash to sign up for the program.”

Two of the three adjustments made to the original toll rate proposal passed late last year remain in this revised proposal: a reduction in the two ““axle commercial class rate, which includes most RVs and dual tire pick-up trucks, from $7 an axle to $6 and a change in the number of trips required for the commuter rate. The number of trips in a 30 day period for the commuter plan decreases from 25 to 22.

The extra revenue will help fund a $399 million capital program that includes the following upgrade: Bridge Paint Removal and Recoating ($48.2); Suspension Rope Replacement ($24.5 million); Bridge Steelwork Repairs ($40.5 million); Pin and Link Rehabilitation on Both Structures of DMB ($19.7 million); Ship Collision Protection System ($45.2 million); Bridge Deck Repair ($21.5 million); Transfer Bridge Repairs at the Cape May ““ Lewes Ferry ($4.3 million); and Ferry Repowering Program ($9.5 million).

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