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Carpooling Discouraged at George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge, which connects Fort Lee, New Jersey, to Manhattan, is one of the world’s busiest spans. It is also the Port Authority’s main moneymaker, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Interestingly, the Authority’s recent hikes in tolls to cross the bridge have created a cat-and-mouse game between local police and those who would flout the Authority’s control, says the Wall Street Journal.

To many commuters who use the bridge, the pull-over practice smacks of highway robbery. Tolls rose in September to $9.50 for E-ZPass customers and $12 for those paying cash, and will each rise $3 more by 2015. However, 4 percent of commuters are taking advantage of a carpooling rule that provides a $6 reduction in the toll for those drivers with two passengers.

With the toll hikes, more drivers are picking up hitchhikers before the bridge in a mutually beneficial relationship: drivers save money, and hitchhikers save time. In response, local police are cracking down on the practice.

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