New York’s controversial downtown Manhattan congestion charge clears the final federal hurdle and could cost drivers $17 to $23 to navigate a crowded stretch
- The Federal Highway Administration on Monday approved New York’s plan for congestion charging in Manhattan – a first in the United States
- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority can now decide final toll rates, discounts, times and exemptions: a report last year suggested up to $23 per car
- The plan is expected to generate $1 billion a year for public transport: Congestion charging is expected to come into force next year
A congestion charge, the first in the country, received its final federal approval on Monday, meaning that starting next year, anyone wanting to drive in lower Manhattan could pay up to $23.
The Federal Highway Administration officially gave the plan the go-ahead on Monday, meaning it’s now up to New York City’s transit officials — the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) — to make a final decision on toll rates. , discounts, hours and exemptions.
A plan released in August suggested vehicles would be charged $23 to enter the area south of 60th Street during peak daytime hours.
The off-peak fare would be $17.
All areas south of Central Park will have a flat entry fee of $23 for all drivers
Potential congestion charges are expected to bring $1 billion a year to MTA, which runs the city’s transit system
The program, first proposed in 2007 but launched in earnest in 2019, is expected to begin in the spring of 2024 and is expected to generate $1 billion for the MTA to spend on public transportation.
“Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in our crowded downtown, improve air quality and provide essential resources to the MTA,” said Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York.
“With the green light from the federal government, we look forward to moving forward with the implementation of this program.”
Last month tThe Biden administration has approved the release of the final EA.
The toll would be applied in addition to existing bridge and tunnel tolls to congestion tolls, which means the cost of a round-trip drive from areas like Princeton, New Jerseycould be up to $120.
Activists calling for the introduction of congestion charging are seen on April 21
A rally in favor of congestion charging is observed in March 2018
New York said drivers could face congestion charges of up to $23 a day by mid-2024
Mayor Eric Adams and City Comptroller Brad Lander applauded the announcement
A study published last year predicted that this would reduce the number of cars entering Manhattan by 15-20%.
Other major global cities such as Singapore and London already have congestion pricing policies to minimize traffic, speed up essential services and reduce pollution.
In New York, the city wants to charge a daily variable toll for vehicles entering or staying in the central business district, defined as between 60th Street in midtown Manhattan and Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan.
New York, which has the busiest US traffic, would become the first major US city to follow London, which began a similar charge in 2003.
MTA officials said they would need nearly a year to get the new tolling infrastructure in place once it gets federal approval, putting it on track to meet its current goal. launch of congestion pricing in the second quarter of 2024.