NYC proposes plan to become the first US city to hit motorists with a $23 congestion fee

New York City is seen as the most congested city in the United States when it comes to traffic, and the Democrats running the Big Apple have a plan to address that.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed a congestion fee of $23 for motorists to enter a “congestion zone” that entails Manhattan’s central business district, which would make NYC the first city in America to charge motorists for heavy traffic. Overseas, cities like Singapore and London have congestion pricing policies in place.

And make no mistake, the fee is intended to keep drivers away and to force more people onto public transportation — evidently, the MTA executives don’t take the subway very often.

“This is different than a typical tolling system,” a senior MTA official told reporters, according to Gothamist. “[In a] typical tolling system you’re tolling for upkeep of the facilities. In this case we’re really tolling to help reduce congestion and then raise the revenue for transit, which further reduces congestion.”

The New York Public Radio outlet said the plan “considered a range of tolling schemes for vehicles, including one that charged as little as $9 during peak hours.”

“The release marks the first time the MTA has put out a range of tolls for consideration. The program is intended to discourage driving while also raising money for transit improvements,” the Gothamist reported. “The tolls for commercial vehicles and trucks range from $12 to $82. This could decrease truck traffic anywhere from 21% to 81%, the analysis found.”

Or raise prices for consumers, as these costs are all but certain to be passed on.

A study further projected a reduction in the number of cars entering Manhattan by 15% to 20%.

“Local drivers in the city can expect to encounter the $23 fee, while the cost of a round trip by car from areas like Princeton, New Jersey, could be as much as $120,” the Daily Mail reported. “The new fees, which would go into effect as early as 2023, are projected to bring in $1 billion a year for MTA, which runs the city’s public transit system and faces a financial crisis as ridership continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has vowed to make sure drivers from the Garden State won’t have to pay a tunnel or bridge toll in addition to the congestion fee.

“I think I speak on behalf of all of my New Jersey colleagues, just to add this, we love it,” the Democrat said, according to the Gothamist. “Conceptually, there is no way, no how, that that will happen with a double taxation of New Jersey commuters. Period.”

Suffice it to say, the issue isn’t very popular with the folks:


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