Manhattan to Launch Congestion Pricing During Peak Traffic Times by July 2024
By Yehudit Garmaise
Within one year, entering any roadway south of 60th Street in Manhattan during peak traffic will likely cost drivers of cars $23 and truck drivers up to $82, thanks to last week’s federal approval of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA’s) congestion pricing plan.
On May 5, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) approved the MTA’s environmental assessment, meaning New York will be the first city in the US to charge drivers for entering an urban area during its busiest times.
The MTA said its plan, which it needs until 2024 to create, will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and encourage people to use public transportation.
The $1.5 billion congestion toll hikes will allegedly provide funding to help modernize the public transit system.
The new tolling zone will cover Manhattan’s Central Business District, which is bordered by 60th Street in Manhattan and all the roadways south of 60th Street, except for FDR Drive, West Side Highway/9A, Battery Park Underpass, and any surface roadway portions of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel connecting to West Street.
E-Z Passes will allow all drivers entering Manhattan’s new Toll Zone to pay their fines.
Drivers without E-Z Passes will receive toll bills at the addresses of the registered vehicle owners.
Before the MTA finalizes its toll fees, a traffic mobility review board will recommend the amount to charge, which is an amount the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority must approve.
When the price of entering Manhattan increases, average travel speeds to get around in the Manhattan Central Business District will likely rise as well.
While the average travel speeds in Manhattan’s most congested area declined 22% between 2010-2019, the Partnership for New York City expects congestion pricing to increase peak traffic speeds by at least 15%.