file photo by Boyd Loving

By S.P. Sullivan | NJ Advance Media for
on April 14, 2017 at 10:23 AM, updated April 14, 2017 at 4:51 PM

TRENTON — The New Jersey State Police does not have to reimburse state troopers for toll fares during their commute to and from work, an appeals court has ruled in a dispute between the state and the troopers’ union.

The two-judge panel found on Thursday that an arbitrator was mistaken in declaring the practice “an established term and condition of employment.”

For years, the operators of the state’s major toll roads, the New Jersey
Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority, allowed troopers and other state employees to pass through their toll booths in personal vehicles free of charge.

But in 2010, Gov. Chris Christie called for an end to free rides for non-emergency vehicles. Soon after, a report from the state comptroller also flagged the practice in a report identifying $43 million in waste within the Turnpike Authority.