Port Authority Executive Director Chris O. Wards initial proposal for a $4 increase in bridge and tunnel E-ZPass tolls to $12, a PATH ticket raise by $1 and increased cash Hudson River crossing tolls to $15 a year and $17 next year was so absurd it was clear it was a cabal between Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo so they could pretend to be saviors by brokering a pre-arranged deal for a somewhat lesser rise.
But still, from a public point of view, it was unacceptable.
If there was an award for incompetence in managing a public facility, Ward would win the gold medal and Christie and Cuomo the bronze medals. They would win because an increase in tolls to maintain the structural integrity of the bridges and tunnels is warranted, while an increase to subsidize multi-billionaire real estate developers is a taxpayer rip-off of the first order.
Ward was quoted as saying, Without this increase now, construction of the World Trade Center site could slow or stop. In other words, motorists are being called upon to subsidize fat cat builders in an $11 billion, government-sponsored construction and a train station that is said to now have a cost overrun in excess of $1 billion, adding 2 million square feet of office space in a city that has no need for it.
To Ward, Christie and Cuomo I say shame, shame, shame.
Benjamin M. Haber
©2011 Community News Group
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