Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Canfield Proposes Elimination of Garden State Parkway Tolls

Robert Canfield, the Republican candidate for Governor of New Jersey, has announced a bold plan to eliminate tolls on the Garden State Parkway. Citing frequent traffic congestion caused by toll booth backups, Canfield aims to streamline state services and reduce bureaucratic costs.

“I’m tired of getting stuck in traffic because of the backup from the toll booths,” said Canfield. “Removing these tolls will not only ease traffic but also simplify our state’s administrative structure.”

To achieve this, Canfield proposes disbanding the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and reallocating its essential services to other state departments. Under this plan:
• Traffic Control and the New Jersey State Police responsibilities will transfer to the Department of Law and Public Safety.
• Maintenance and Engineering duties will be reassigned to the Department of Transportation (DOT).
• Information Technology (IT), EZ Pass operations, and Rest Areas management will move to the Department of State.

“Cutting out the bureaucracy and streamlining services will bring down costs overall,” Canfield explained. “This reorganization will provide the state with more revenue, as it will no longer remain under NJTA control. Although it will increase the debt service of the DOT, the anticipated revenue and reduction in departmental costs and positions will offset this difference.”

Currently, the Garden State Parkway generates approximately $550 million in toll revenue annually, compared to the $1.6 billion generated by the New Jersey Turnpike. In 2022, total NJTA revenue was $2.435 billion. Canfield asserts that even with the elimination of $550 million from Parkway tolls, the consolidation of services and cost reductions will maintain a budget surplus.

“During the Parkway’s construction, the tolls were promised to be temporary. It’s been 70 years, and they’re still here. What is considered temporary to them?” Canfield questioned.

Under Canfield’s plan, the New Jersey Turnpike will retain its tolls but transition to a fully electronic system using EZ Pass or Bill by Mail. “According to NJTA data, 91.5% of Turnpike tolls were collected via EZ Pass in 2022, with projections to reach 95.1% by 2025,” Canfield noted.

The reallocation of responsibilities and the removal of tolls from the Garden State Parkway are part of Canfield’s broader vision to improve efficiency and reduce costs in New Jersey’s state government. Funds will be designated to each department based on their adjusted budget needs, with all debt service and liabilities transferred to the DOT.

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