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Released: 6/25/2008 

DRPA CEO Comments On Newspaper Editorial

Delaware River Port Authority Chief Executive Officer, John J. Matheussen, would like to inform our customers that while the DRPA respects and supports freedom of the press and the constitutional right of newspapers to express their opinions through editorials, it is imperative those opinions are “based on the facts.”
John is referring to the Courier Post Editorial on 6/25 “Free rides must end for commissioners.”
In that editorial it is stated “they (the DRPA) does not even know how many complimentary toll/fare passes there are floating around” and (the DRPA) “needs $5 billion for major improvements on the bridges.”
According to the CEO, “there are 43 current and former commissioners who qualify for free bridge crossings which will end on July 1st” and “the $5 billion dollar for major improvements on the bridges is simply and totally inaccurate.” Matheussen continues, “the correct amount for capital improvements as reported multiple times in the media since its passage at the end of ’07 is $1 billion dollars and that includes capital improvements to PATCO as well as our bridges to be spent over the next 5 – 7 years.”
The reason behind the discontinuation of the free passage is due to a legal requirement that agency commissioners, including those at the DRPA, serve without compensation. Some State Attorney Generals have taken the position that providing free passage to former and current commissioners constitutes a form of compensation. The Board of the DRPA as such made the decision to discontinue free passage across DRPA facilities for present and former commissioners. 
John would like to conclude by saying that the newspaper making personal attacks on our commissioners serves little or no purpose, indicating, “our commissioners dedicate a great deal of time and effort to our priority efforts to make all of our facilities safe, secure and serviceable for the benefit of our customers and the region.”

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