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New Jersey: Beware the High Cost of Travel

September 13th, 2009

new-jersey-high-cost.jpgTourists up and down America’s east coast tend to avoid New Jersey for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the cost of actually driving through the state.

Almost all major highways going through, and in, the state are a part of the New Jersey Turnpike. What does this mean to someone who lives elsewhere? Well, it means that you’ll pay tolls, tolls, and yet more tolls. For a state which prides itself on being a “tourist” destination, the New Jersey government sure hasn’t made it cheaper for tourists to visit.

What is the effect of all the tolls? Supposedly, most of the tolls collected are to maintain the highways, bridges, and other tourist destinations (such as the beach). Anyone who has visited New Jersey can tell you that the roads are no better, and the beaches are no cleaner than elsewhere. The only difference is that drivers must get a ticket each time they enter, and pay a toll each time they leave the turnpike.

New Jersey does have a large job market for people who work at the gas stations, restaurants, and other service businesses littered up and down the highways. Unfortunately it doesn’t help lower costs. New Jersey has a law against self-service gas stations. While a convenience for some, it only increases costs elsewhere. Buying a value meal at one of the fast food chain stores or restaurants along the toll roads in New Jersey will cost you at least 100% more than most other states. That’s right — that $3.99 extra value meal in Virginia will cost you $7.99 in New Jersey. The only other convenience is that you won’t have to exit the highway to find a gas station or food.

So, why does New Jersey continue to charge tourists, and its residents, so much? There are many answers to that question ranging from beautifying New Jersey, to helping fund the huge government programs which are in the red. No matter what the reasons truly are, be sure to stock up on your hard-earned green before visiting or driving through New Jersey.

Another tip for traveling through New Jersey is to make sure you have a reliable spare tire and that all of your other tires are in perfect working condition. To get a tow truck on the New Jersey Turnpike system you must pay a huge tow fee, plus all tolls with a hefty markup. Average is around $60.00 for the tolls, plus at least $120.00 for the actual tow. If you have to buy a tire, be prepared to pay twice as much as you think it should cost.

The only light at the end of the tunnel are programs like the Southern New Jersey Transportation Authority, which started several years ago. The Atlantic City Expressway, for example, has people who do nothing else except stop and help stranded motorists. They will change your tire, call a tow truck if needed, and assist in minor repairs. This service is provided to motorists absolutely free. Well, the tolls collected along the Atlantic City Expressway are used to fund the project.

In the end, most people who don’t absolutely have to drive through New Jersey will avoid going there.

This article was originally supplied by the user “May” from ArticleDaily.com.

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