Delaware River bridge tolls will go up $1 and PATCO train fares will increase by 10 percent on July 1, under a plan approved today by the Delaware River Port Authority board.
The PATCO fare hike was delayed for six months from a scheduled January 1 effective date, but the DRPA board bowed to pressure from Wall Street not to delay the bridge toll increase.
The board also approved a $194 million contract to rebuild the PATCO fleet of 120 railcars over the next five years.
The decision to proceed with the bridge toll increases came after many weeks of discussions about delaying the hikes and using unspent economic-development funds to make up the lost revenue.
In the end, though, the DRPA's financial advisers convinced the board that a delay could prove costly, prompting financial rating agenices to downgrade the DRPA's bond rating and calling for immediate repayment of $220 million.
Only board member John Dougherty, a Philadelphia labor leader, voted to postpone the bridge toll increase.