The public will have an opportunity early next month to weigh up New York’s plan to levy a new toll for motorists entering Manhattan.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced on Thursday 13 virtual meetings beginning on September 13 and lasting until mid-October. The last three meetings on October 7, 12, and 13 focus specifically on the potential impact of the program on minority and low-income communities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
New York plans to create a new toll zone for the area south of 60th Street in Manhattan, an area that daily houses hundreds of thousands of vehicles from the New Jersey and New York suburbs and beyond. The plan, commonly called congestion rates, has been tried in Europe, but would be the first of its kind in any American city.
The MTA says congestion rates are needed to reduce the traffic network and help fund improvements to New York’s bus and subway systems. The New York legislature approved the plan in 2019, and it was due to take effect this year, but it stalled during the Trump administration and eventually got the go-ahead from federal regulators this year.
It is unlikely to be put in place until 2023, as the MTA has said the environmental review process will take until the end of 2022.
The congestion price plan has been met with criticism from some New Jersey politicians, who say motorists from their districts already pay high tolls to get into the city and should not have to pay an extra fee.
This month, the Democratic New Jersey rep announced. Josh Gottheimer bill that would withhold federal transit grants from New York and offer tax deductions to New Jersey drivers if the fee is implemented.