Taking a Toll

And now from the department of "More reasons to dread going to work:" $5 bridge tolls!

Yup, the time has come -- again -- to gin up your hatred for the Delaware River Port Authority.

This morning's commute cost me $4. Starting July 1, those dearies at the DRPA will begin charging $5 for the same privilege of getting stuck behind morons who drove into the E-ZPass lane before realizing they don't have E-ZPass.

The $1 toll increase will apply to cars on the Commodore Barry, Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross Bridges. It applies to all drivers except old folks. They can keep their 50 percent discount presuming they figured out how to sign up for E-Z Pass.

Where will all this new money go, you ask? Good question, given the DRPA's profligate history of using your commuting costs to fund restaurants, soccer stadiums and trams to nowhere.

The authority listened and has pledged to start spending your money on far more boring things like replacing the center deck on the Walt ($128 million), repairing drainage on the Ben ($26 million) and installing surveillance cameras on the Commodore Barry ($1.4 million).

Years ago, when covering previous chapters in the DRPA saga, angry commuters suggested either paying higher tolls in pennies or borrowing boats to cross the river for free.

If sweat wasn't an issue and I didn't pack my l unch and laptop, I'd seriously consider going to work on foot. Last fall, I laid out $30 for a 10K race in which participants get to run the bridge. Killer hills, stunning view. Best toll money I ever spent.

-- Monica Yant Kinney


(read more at philly.com/blinq)