For years, the problem of what to do about Manhattan traffic has plagued New York City. Despite a seeming respite during the height of the pandemic, traffic continues to snarl even as ever-more street space gets reclaimed for pedestrian use, sidewalk dining and bike lanes. All of these are good things, for the most part, but to really transform Manhattan away from its car-centricity, a congestion pricing plan has long been advocated for by transportation activists and environmental groups.
The MTA developed a plan that was approved by the state in 2019, although the details have not yet been finalized. And now the Federal Highway Administration has advanced it by approving the environmental assessment and opening it to public review.
The public transit authority hasn’t determined how much to charge drivers, but has considered fares ranging from $9 to $23 for passenger vehicles and between $12 and $82 for trucks. The scenarios contemplate different combinations of potential discounts, credits and exemptions. A six-member Traffic Mobility Review Board will recommend a final pricing structure for the MTA board to approve. If it continues to move forward, the plan will be implemented starting in the spring of 2024. Tolls for driving in Manhattan will be charged in addition to bridge, highway and tunnel tolls.
Naturally, the plan is not popular in the suburbs and is expected to face legal challenges from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
You can read more about this on the Politico website here.