By Pat Loeb

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Year’s Day will bring toll hikes on three area roads, drivers in New Jersey will be hit especially hard.

The cost of commuting is going up by 50 percent on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. But spokesman Tom Feeney says drivers can take comfort from knowing none of the increase is going to operating costs; all of it is going to capital improvements.

“Nobody likes a toll increase, but all of this money is being invested in dozens of projects that will relieve congestion, restore bridges, improve interchanges, expand the use of technology on the roadways and make both roadways safer.”

Feeney says each parkway toll will be a $1.50 per trip on the turnpike from Mt. Laurel to New York; for instance, the cost will go from $6.70 to over $10.

That makes the 10 percent increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike seem relatively modest, and that’s only for drivers who pay cash.

EZ pass tolls remain unchanged.

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