YARDLEY, PA – The first system-wide set of toll increases in ten years is scheduled to go into effect early Sunday at the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s eight highway toll bridges connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The new toll schedule — adopted by the Commission on March 29 – affects every rate and vehicle class except for the passenger vehicle E-ZPass rate at the new Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge, which remains at $1.25.

The new toll schedule — www.drjtbc.org/newtolls – utilizes a two-tier pricing framework that assigns lower rates to E-ZPass transactions, which are less costly to process, and higher rates to Cash/TOLL BY PLATE transactions, which are more costly to process.  This change will end the current situation where E-ZPass customers are effectively subsidizing the toll collection costs of individuals who pay tolls with cash.

(NOTE:  The Commission’s only TOLL BY PLATE facility is the new Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge, which has an all-electronic toll collection system.  The Commission’s seven other toll bridges have E-ZPass/Cash toll-collection facilities.)  In pre-COVID 2019, slightly more than 75 percent of toll transactions at DRJTBC bridges were handled by E-ZPass.

Under the new toll schedule, the Commission’s most frequent toll transaction – a passenger vehicle equipped with E-ZPass – will rise 25 cents to a $1.25 charge system-wide.  Passenger-vehicle operators paying with Cash, however, will be charged $3 starting Sunday — a rate that is 140 percent more than the comparable E-ZPass passenger vehicle charge.  Both of these new E-ZPass and Cash rates will continue to be lowest for any highway toll bridge connecting New Jersey with Pennsylvania or Delaware.

The DRJTBC classifies motor vehicles by the number of rolling axles and height.  Starting Sunday, a toll customer’s preferred method of payment will be added as a third factor in the computation of toll charges.  Tolls are assessed in the Pennsylvania-bound direction at all Commission tolling points.

All vehicle classes – including trucks, non-bumper-hitch combo configurations, and commercial vehicles – will be affected by the new toll rate schedule that is lined up to take effect on Sunday.  The cost of a passenger vehicle with a bumper-hitch trailer or car in tow also will increase by $1.  The new toll schedule also makes changes to the Commission’s two remaining E-ZPass discount programs.

The Commission’s seven E-ZPass/Cash tolling points are:

  • Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge
  • New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202) Toll Bridge
  • I-78 Toll Bridge
  • Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22) Toll Bridge
  • Portland-Columbia (Routes 611, 46, 94) Toll Bridge
  • Delaware Water Gap (I-80) Toll Bridge
  • Milford-Montague (Route 206) Toll Bridge

The toll rates at these seven bridges will be changed as follows:

  • The Class 1 passenger vehicle E-ZPass toll (currently $1) increases 25 cents.  Result: $1.25 toll.
  • The Class 1 passenger vehicle cash toll (currently $1) increases by $2.  Result: $3 toll.
  • The frequency-based 40-percent E-ZPass commuter discount falls to 20 percent; the new 25-cent per-trip reduction is applied as a retroactive credit after 16 more tolled trips recorded at any combination of DRJTBC bridges in a respective calendar month using a transponder issued by the Commission’s toll processor – the regional New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center – Result: New discounted E-ZPass toll of $1 (discount applied retroactively).
  • The added toll for a Class 1 passenger vehicle with a bumper-hitch trailer in tow (currently $1) rises to a $2 surcharge. Result: New combined toll (vehicle and bumper-hitch trailer) $3.25 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE.
  • The per-axle rates for Class 2 transactions (two-axle vehicles eight feet and above in height) rise to $4.50 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE (currently $3.25 per-axle for both E-ZPass and cash transactions). Result: New tolls of $9 E-ZPass and $10 for cash.
  • The per-axle rates for Class 3 and above transactions (vehicles eight feet and above in height with three or more axles) rise to $4.50 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE (currently $4 per-axle E-ZPass and cash transactions) – Result:  New tolls as follows:
    • 3 axles — $13.50 E-ZPass; $15 cash
    • 4 axles — $18 E-ZPass; $20 cash
    • 5 axles — $22.50 E-ZPass; $25 cash
    • 6 axles — $27 E-ZPass; $30 cash
    • 7 axles — $31.50 E-ZPass; $35 cash
  • 10-percent off-peak E-ZPass discount for vehicles 8 feet and above is eliminated.

The toll rates at the Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge, the Commission’s only cashless E-ZPass/TOLL BY PLATE facility, will be affected as follows:

  • The Class 1 passenger vehicle E-ZPass toll is unchanged.  Result: $1.25 toll continues.
  • The frequency-based 40-percent commuter discount falls to 20 percent; the new 25 cent per-trip reduction is applied as a retroactive credit after 16 more tolled trips recorded at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge or any combination of DRJTBC bridges in a respective calendar month using a transponder issued by the Commission’s toll processor – the regional New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center. Result: New discounted toll of $1 (discount applied retroactively).
  • The $2.60 Class 1 passenger vehicle TOLL BY PLATE rate rises by 40 cents.  Result: $3 toll.
  • The added toll for a Class 1 passenger vehicle with a bumper-hitch trailer in tow (currently $1) rises to a $2 surcharge. Result: New combined toll (vehicle and bumper-hitch trailer) $3.25 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE.
  • The per-axle rates for Class 2 transactions (two-axle vehicles eight feet and above in height) rise to $4.50 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE (currently $3.50 per-axle E-ZPass and $4.75 per-axle TOLL BY PLATE) – Result: new tolls of $9 E-ZPass and $10 TOLL BY PLATE.
  • The per-axle rates for Class 3 and above transactions (vehicles eight feet and above in height with three or more axles) rise to $4.50 for E-ZPass and $5 for TOLL BY PLATE (currently $4.25 per-axle E-ZPass and $4.75 per-axle TOLL BY PLATE) – Result:  New tolls as follows:
    • 3 axles — $13.50 E-ZPass; $15 TOLL BY PLATE
    • 4 axles — $18 E-ZPass; $20 TOLL BY PLATE
    • 5 axles — $22.50 E-ZPass; $25 TOLL BY PLATE
    • 6 axles — $27 E-ZPass; $30 TOLL BY PLATE
    • 7 axles — $31.50 E-ZPass; $35 TOLL BY PLATE
  • 10-percent off-peak E-ZPass discount for vehicles 8 feet and above eliminated.

(The Scudder Falls Toll Bridge’s adjusted toll rates will now be identical to the seven other toll bridges in the DRJTBC system.  Rates at Scudder Falls are currently higher than at the seven other DRJTBC tolling points.)

E-ZPass, the Way to Save

The Commission is urging Cash customers to acquire E-ZPass.  The lower E-ZPass rates apply to transponders issued by any E-ZPass-issuing toll agency.  However, the frequency-based commuter discount can only be calculated and applied to transponders administered by the Commission’s toll processor – the regional NJ E-ZPass Customer Service Center.

The quickest means of securing a Commission-affiliated E-ZPass account is by having a credit card account and going online at www.ezpassnj.com.  The customer service center also may be reached by phone – 1-888-AUTO TOLL (1-888-288-6865) – but wait times for a service representative can be long.

Background

The Commission proposed the new toll schedule on February 1, triggering a 26-day public comment period that included three virtual hearings.  The bi-state agency’s board of commissioners approved the toll changes at their March 29 meeting.

The Commission said the toll changes are needed to offset continuing COVID-19-induced toll revenue declines, ensure payment of financial obligations, provide funding for planned capital projects throughout the agency’s Pennsylvania-New Jersey service region, and establish a two-tier rate structure that price tolls according to the payment method a customer uses to pay his/her respective toll.

In addition to its eight highway toll bridges, the Commission owns and operates 12 non-revenue-generating “toll-supported” bridges along the fresh-water portion of the Delaware River separating New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The agency also has 73 lane miles of road surface, 34 short-distance approach bridges (overpasses or viaducts) and various other maintenance and operational facilities.

The Commission is funded strictly by the tolls it collects at its eight toll bridges.  It does not receive state or federal subsidies to run its transportation system and services.  The Commission is unique among other toll agencies in the region because it is legally obligated – under identical statutes enacted by both states and ratified by Congress under the Compact  clause of the U.S. Constitution — to use a share of its tolls to operate and maintain 10 older low-capacity non-highway vehicular bridges and two other pedestrian-only crossings along the river.  The Commission refers to these 12 spans as “toll-supported bridges.”

About The Commission

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission was formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in 1934. It operates eight toll bridges and 12 toll-supported bridges, two of which are pedestrian-only spans.  (Note:  The first completed span of the new Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge opened to traffic during overnight hours on July 9, 2019.) The Commission is a self-supporting public-service agency that receives neither federal nor state tax dollars to finance its projects or operations. Funding for the operations, maintenance and upkeep of its bridges and related transportation facilities is solely derived from revenues collected at its toll bridges. The Commission’s jurisdiction extends along the Delaware River from the Philadelphia-Bucks County line north to the New Jersey/New York border. The bridges carried more than 139.2 million cars and trucks in 2018. For more information about the Commission and its various initiatives to deliver safer and more convenient bridge travel for its customers, please see: www.drjtbc.org.

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