FBW | January 3, 2024
The Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program, also known as the congestion pricing plan, would charge $15 to cars entering Manhattan below 60th Street. The fee would apply on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The price for trucks would range from $24 to $36 depending on their size.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), this program could reduce the number of cars in the CBD by as much as 20 percent or 143,000 vehicles. Truck traffic would decline even more dramatically. Air quality in lower Manhattan would improve significantly as well as the quality of life. The plan will reduce the number of vehicle crashes and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars. In addition, the program will generate $1 billion annually to invest in capital improvements for train, bus and subway infrastructure. The program provides powerful incentives for commuters to opt for public transit rather than cars.
Hudson County residents who suffer the negative impacts of daily traffic traversing the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels will also enjoy the advantages of less traffic and diminished carbon emissions. New Jersey commuters will also benefit from an improved New York City transit system as they make connections from trains and buses entering Manhattan.
Congestion pricing, however, has its detractors. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is one. In July, the State of New Jersey filed suit in U.S. District Court challenging the Federal Highway Administration approval of the New York City congestion pricing plan claiming the program places an unfair financial and environmental burden on New Jersey residents.
Thirty-four New Jersey environmental, labor and civic groups, however, strongly disagree with their governor. In December, they filed an Amicus brief in opposition to the State’s litigation. The Fund for a Better Waterfront joined in the court action along with NJ Citizen Action, Clean Water Action, Empower NJ, NJ Work Environmental Council, Hudson County Complete Streets, SafeStreetsJC, Bike Hoboken and 26 other groups.