NYC Congestion Plan Adds Money to Offset N.J. Harm, MTA Says

Allocation May Help Resolve New Jersey’s Legal Challenge Against Tolling Program
New York City traffic
Traffic exits the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in New York City. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News)

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New York City’s congestion pricing plan will now include funds to help alleviate potential pollution issues the new tolling program may spark in New Jersey.

The head of New York City’s transit network, which is implementing the new tolling plan designed to alleviate traffic in Manhattan, said April 17 its latest submission to the U.S. Department of Transportation now includes money for New Jersey.

The allocation may help resolve New Jersey’s legal challenge against the tolling program. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking a longer environmental review of congestion pricing to better analyze the potential impacts to his state.

“The presentation that we’ve made to the feds does call for some allocation of mitigation dollars to New Jersey,” Janno Lieber, Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s chief executive officer, said at an event hosted by Crain’s in New York.

Lieber declined to give a range of how much New Jersey could receive, saying the funds are based off of the population in areas that will be affected by congestion pricing.

“The way that all of this is determined is allocations by the number of people who are in areas that are impacted by additional truck traffic,” Lieber told reporters after the event. “And New Jersey will get its share exactly on the arithmetic.”

A spokesperson for Murphy declined to comment on the potential funds that would be directed to New Jersey. The tolling program also faces related lawsuits in federal court in Manhattan.

The congestion pricing initiative is the first of its kind in the U.S. It’s expected to bring in $1 billion a year to help modernize the MTA’s system of buses, subways and commuter lines. The transit agency is now awaiting final approval from the Federal Highway Administration.

The MTA plans to start charging motorists as soon as mid-June. All the tolling infrastructure is installed, as of this week, Lieber said. Most passenger cars will pay $15 to enter Manhattan’s central business district, which runs from 60th Street to the bottom of the island.

Trucks and some buses will be charged a toll of $24 with E-ZPass or $36 without during the day to enter the congestion relief zone in Manhattan below 60th Street, depending on their size and function, and $6 or $9 at night.

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