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Economy Seen Driving Drivers Away From DRPA Bridges

(The Walt Whitman Bridge, operated by the Delaware River Port Authority.  File photo)

(The Walt Whitman Bridge, operated by the Delaware River Port Authority. File photo)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
She's reported from inside a burning building, from the flight deck of...
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By Michelle Durham

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Traffic on the bridges operated by the Delaware River Port Authority is down significantly, while those operated by the Burlington County Bridge Commission have seen an overall increase.

“We suspect a variety of factors affect bridge traffic, and right now we’re facing a perfect storm of several,” says Tim Ireland, a spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority. “Gas prices remain high. Parking fees in Philadelphia remain high. The economy — particularly in Philadelphia’s western suburbs — remains flat. The Walt Whitman Bridge is under construction, and of course we increased tolls about a year ago.”

But Ireland says Patco ridership is up.

Liz Verna, director of communications for the Burlington County Bridge Commission, says she knows what is driving the five-percent increase in traffic on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge:

“It’s the economy. We’re still the best bargain around. Our tolls have been at $2 since the year 2000.”

Both say the monies collected go to maintain the bridges and, in DRPA’s case, also toward the refurbishment of the Patco high-speed line’s rail cars.


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