DRPA approves commuter credit for bridge users

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By the end of the year, regular commuters on four Philadelphia-area bridges will get a price break. (WPVI)

By the end of the year, regular commuters on four Philadelphia-area bridges will get a price break.

The Delaware River Port Authority voted Wednesday to bring back a discount program similar to the one that ended in 2011.

An estimated 30,000 regular commuters could save up to $216 a year.

The DRPA board greenlighted the discount plan for high volume EZ pass users.

"The way it works for anybody who crosses the bridges 18 times in one month they will get an $18 credit. There are no applications to fill out," DRPA CEO John Hanson said.

For those who would qualify for this frequent flyer discount, what's not to like.

"I think it's a great idea. I think they'll get more people coming back to the city working. They had it before so why did they take it away in the first place?" commuter Max Tabak said.

Good question.

The DRPA killed its commuter discount in 2011. That followed financially rocky times that saw bridge tolls jump from $3 to $4 to $5 in less than 3 years.

But now with its financial house in order, it says it wants to reward its most loyal bridge users and signaled there are no new hikes on the horizon.

"This is not only a commuter discount, but we made an affirmative action that we're not going to go up on tolls for the next three years given what tolls are in New York City and Pennsylvania Turnpike, I think this is a momentous occasion," DRPA Chairman Ryan Boyer said.

The discount is capped at $18 a month no matter how many trips you may make.

That refund will show up on your bill the next month.

The hope is to have this plan up and running for New Jersey passengers by November and December. For Pennsylvania Turnpike drivers, possibly the beginning of the year.

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