Port Authority Does About Face, Won’t Cancel Carpool Discount

NEW YORK — The cancellation of the car pool discount at the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel and Holland Tunnel, which was announced by the Port Authority at the beginning of December, has been reinstated, according to a report by CBS New York.

These discounts, which give a 50% reduction in the toll to cars which have multiple passengers, is an economical way for commuters to reduce costs as they traverse the Hudson River crossings. Commuters near the George Washington Bridge often queue up to carpool into New York City, as drivers get half off and passengers usually pay nothing for the ride, which they consider a win-win practice.

Backers of the discounts maintain that the reduction encourages carpooling, which reduces pollution and congestion.

Agency Chief Rick Cotton originally told reporters that with the upcoming change to cashless tolls which is scheduled for January 5, 2020, there would be no way to monitor if the vehicles qualify for the discount. Others pointed out that the technology exists to verify the eligibility for carpool discounts, and it is already in use in other states.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy weighed in on the issue, advocating that the Port Authority keep the initiative which is beneficial to the environment.

It is not clear what the Port Authority will do away with the discount once cashless tolls go in effect, or if they will purchase the technology in the future.