Toll increases on four major Delaware River bridges will be postponed for 10 months, until July 2011.

Tolls will remain at $4 for autos, following a vote today by the Delaware River Port Authority board to delay a $1 increase that was to take effect next September.

Citing tough economic times, the DRPA board decided to use $8 million of its economic development funds to partially offset the loss of anticipated income from higher tolls.

"People are hurting . . . and we wanted to find a way to hold off on the toll increase," said Jeff Nash, the board's vice chairman.

A planned 10 percent increase in fares for the PATCO commuter trains will take effect as scheduled in September.

The DRPA board today also approved its operating and capital budgets for 2010, providing for a 5 percent increase in the operating budget over 2009 and a 37 percent increase in its capital spending.

The board also approved new contracts with employees represented by two of its three unions. The contracts call for no wage increases in 2010 and a 3 percent increase in 2011.

Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com.