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Delaware River Port Authority Approves Discount for Frequent Drivers
"A discount for E-ZPass customers who regularly cross Delaware River Port Authority bridges is beginning next month, giving an $18 break to regular commuters," reports Jason Laughlin. Essentially the discount will offer an $18 rebate for anyone who drives across the bridges 18 times in a month.
The toll rebate essential reverses toll increases implemented by the DRPA—from $3 to $4 per trip in 2008, and another dollar in 2011. "Up to 29,000 people are eligible to participate in the discount program," explains Laughlin, so the "DRPA predicts losing $6.4 million in bridge revenue annually with the program."
Not only does the discount for people who drive more contradict the case for congestion pricing as a critical role in alleviating congestion in urban areas—it also means cars will pay even less of their way than they already do.
But more than that, transit riders won't even be getting the same discount. In fact, according to Larry Davis, a member of the authority's Citizens Advisory Committee quoted in the article, 14,000 daily PATCO riders pay more per daily commute than those who drive across the bridge. Laughlin reports that Davis has "started a petition to extend a commuter discount to rail riders, too. He has gained more than 100 signatures so far. He says he doubts he'll be able to reverse the DRPA's policy, but believes that it's important someone speak up for PATCO customers."