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DRPA Says Despite Reports, Bridge Tolls Aren’t Going Down

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

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

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Delaware River Port Authority says suggestions that tolls might be lowered on some of its bridges just isn’t in the cards.

The DRPA is preparing to implement a series of recommended management changes, with a plan to be offered by spring (see related story).  Newly installed board chairman David Simon has put in place a strategic management committee, charged with putting those recommendations into action.

“Once that task has been completed,” explains DRPA spokesman Tim Ireland, “the committee will examine other areas in the DRPA where there could be room for improvement, and nothing is off the table.  They’re going to look at everything. It’ll be comprehensive, and they will be working over years. But there are no plans at this time to adjust the current toll structure.”

And with good reason:  Port Authority bonds are directly tied to the revenue the bridges bring in. Lower that revenue, and you’d likely lower the Authority’s credit rating, which increases the cost of those bonds.

Simon brought up the possibility of lower tolls in a conversation with the Inquirer, but did not return our calls on the subject.