AAA New York and AAA North Jersey are suing to overturn the Port Authority’s toll hikes for bridges and tunnels in the metropolitan area which took affect Sept. 18.

The clubs claim in their suit that the main reason for the toll hikes is to pay for the ongoing construction of the new World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

The suit was filed today in federal court.

“The Authority is attempting to burden commuters and travelers with public expenditures that are in no way related to transportation,” aid Marta Genovese, AAA New York’s Vice President and Counsel.

The toll hikes were approved after the Port Authority proposed raising tolls for E-Z Pass drivers on bridges and tunnels from $8 to $12 and from $8 to $15 for drivers who use cash.

Though Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie publicly denied knowledge of the hikes beforehand, they later released a joint letter calling for lesser increases, which were later approved. Drivers using E-Z Pass will be hit with a $1.50 hike, bringing the total toll to $9.50 during peak hours. Cash-paying motorists will be dinged for an extra $.50.

Fares for the PATH train would grow to $2, up from $1.75.

Fares will increase again in 2015.

In a joint letter, Cuomo and Christie said they were opposed to raising tolls, but said the hikes were necessary given the PA’s financial situation and the need for infrastructure improvements. In addition to the toll hikes, the governors called on greater financial accountability and oversight at the authority.

(Interestingly, Cuomo and Christie met for dinner on July 29, just days before the PA’s first hikes were announced).

AAA previously appealed to the U.S. Department of Transportation to review the toll hikes before they took effect.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-Staten Island, said in a statement that he backed AAA’s effort to reverse the hikes.

“The people of Staten Island are being forced to pay the tolls of three major bridges connecting New York and New Jersey, yet will not receive direct benefits. The Port Authority admits that the funds raised from the toll hikes will be used to pay for the over-budgeted World Trade Center site and the PATH train, which Staten Islanders cannot use because they do not have a light rail to get them there,” he said.