Big Apple drivers could be hit with a $15 toll to travel on Manhattan streets under new congestion pricing proposal
By Nolan Hicks and David Propper
Published Nov. 30, 2023, 12:08 a.m. ET
New York City drivers could soon be facing a hefty toll to travel on busy Manhattan streets as part of a new congestion pricing proposal. The Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) is expected to recommend a $15 fee for passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs driving south of 60th Street between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. during the workweek and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
However, drivers traveling on the FDR Drive and West Side Highway would not be charged a toll. Additionally, those coming from the Hudson and East River tunnels would receive a $5 discount during peak traffic hours.
The purpose of the congestion pricing is to reduce traffic and infuse much-needed funds into the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), according to mass transit officials. But some have voiced concerns that it’s an additional fee burden for drivers and could divert traffic and pollution into outer boroughs.
The figure comes as congestion pricing is expected to begin next May, making it the first such program in the nation. However, the proposal is not without legal challenges, as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other officials from the Garden State have sued the MTA, alleging an improper expedited review of the potential environmental and economic costs of the toll.
As for exemptions, taxis, for-hire vehicles, buses, and government vehicles would not be subject to the toll. Additionally, motorcyclists would be charged $7.50, and trucks would face a higher toll ranging from $24 to $36, depending on their size. Low-income vehicle owners would also receive a 50% discount on the daytime toll after the 10 trips into the congestion pricing area made by that vehicle per month.
While the proposal is currently under review by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, it is still unclear when the toll would officially come into effect.