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New York City becomes first city to impose controversial congestion tax

New York City is one step closer to implementing a controversial congestion charge that will cost commuters thousands of dollars. Many have already voiced strong opposition to the congestion pricing plan, including New Jersey's Democratic governor, who called it a rip-off for commuters.

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board of directors approved the nation's first congestion pricing by an overwhelming 9-1 majority. He will now have a 60-day public comment period. The MTA will then finalize a fee schedule with the proposed fees by his February hearing.

Congestion pricing would impose a toll on motorists entering Manhattan's central business district (from 60th Street and south to the tip of the financial district). However, under 60th Street he has four different tunnels. The Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in New Jersey, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel in Brooklyn, and the Queens Midtown Tunnel in Long Island.

Motorists must pay $15 per day to enter the central business district. For trucks, he charges from $24 to $36, depending on the size. The motorcycle costs him $7.50. Taxis will be charged an additional $1.25 per trip, and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will be charged an additional $2.50.

NY1 “A closer look at the plan shows that only cars with an EZ Pass will pay the base fee of $15.Cars without an EZ Pass will pay $22.50 to enter the central business district.'' ” reported.

Regular rates are valid from 5am to 9pm on weekdays and from 9am to 9pm on weekends. Rates are approximately 75% cheaper during off-peak hours.

However, New York City officials may increase congestion charges.

NJ.com “Two additions to the fee structure are: MTA board action item fine print Two potential rate increases are included. A 25% increase in congestion charges for entering the central business district during gridlock warning days, and the possibility of a 10% increase or reduction in charges for up to one year after introduction. ”

Drivers who earn less than $50,000 a year can enter up to 10 times a month for free, after which they must pay half the amount.

according to WNBC“The review board said implementation of the congestion pricing plan is expected to reduce the number of vehicles entering the area by 17%. It corresponds to a decrease.”

Congestion pricing is estimated to generate $15 billion in revenue for the MTA.

“Much of the cash will go toward the MTA’s 2020-24 capital program. For example, a portion of the proceeds will go toward funding four new Metro-North stations for communities in the Bronx.” CNBC report. “The MTA is also accelerating its investments in clean bus technology. The agency plans to begin testing hydrogen fuel cell bus technology in 2025.”

“Excess traffic costs the New York City region $20 billion a year,” said Kathy Wilde, a member of the Transportation Mobility Review Board and director of the New York City Partnership.

There are many outspoken critics of congestion pricing plans.

driver Said“This is insane! What the heck, these guys are insane. They've already had enough of the high fees.”

Last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said: Said The MTA would “impose an unfair and inappropriate congestion pricing structure on New Jersey commuters.” He also said the congestion fee would “take money away from New Jersey commuters to help address the financial challenges facing the MTA.”

“Despite our regional economy and transportation system being interconnected and interdependent, New York State officials failed to provide meaningful consultation from the beginning, instead relying on New Jerseyans to fill holes in the MTA's budget. “We treated it as a convenient means to do so,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he supports congestion pricing as long as it is “structured in a way that is fair to all sides,” but added that the plan is “not fair or equitable.”

Murphy argued that congestion fees would “lead to paid shopping, increased congestion in underserved areas, and excessive tolling at New Jersey intersections into Manhattan.”

“We have no choice but to continue to address our concerns through litigation,” the New Jersey governor threatened.

New Jersey filed a lawsuit to prevent the MTA from enacting its tax plan.

Mark Sokolich – Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey – It has been submitted Last month, the federal government filed a class action lawsuit to block congestion pricing.

former staten island Said It is also possible to sue the MTA over this proposal.

New York Governor Cathy Hochul said: “We know there will be an impact, but we also need to address the larger issues of protecting and cleaning our environment, protecting our air quality, and protecting mobility on our roads. We have to deal with it.” Protect the financial stability of the MTA, because without it, everything will fall apart. ”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday: “We don't want to overburden working-class New Yorkers, but those who just drive for the convenience, no matter the cost. We need to pay the price.”

Congestion charges have already been introduced in cities such as Milan, London, Singapore and Stockholm.

The MTA hopes to implement congestion pricing in late spring 2024.

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