The Dept. of Transportation has denied the American Automobile Association’s request to oppose the recently enacted Hudson River toll hikes. AAA, which is still pursuing legal action related to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s toll and fare increases, maintains that revenues from the increases should not be used for projects outside of the PANYNJ transportation network, including the World Trade Center.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood says that since congress passed the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act in 1987, the agency no longer has “oversight of tolls on interstate bridges over navigable waters,” but that “the ‘just and reasonable’ requirement for toll increases remains in effect,” AAA says in a statement.

The organization, which has 52 million members in Canada and the U.S., says it is working with New York lawmakers to enact legislation requiring PANYNJ to use toll revenue for transportation, “not real estate development.” It adds, however, that since PANYNJ is a bi-state agency, AAA would also need similar legislation from New Jersey.

Meanwhile, AAA says its case against PANYNJ is ongoing with two procedural actions in November and a show-cause hearing in open court scheduled for Dec. 1.