NJ groups are in favor of congestion pricing in New York – here’s why

While a plan that could charge Garden State drivers an extra fee of up to $23 during rush hour to get to Manhattan awaits federal approval, plan advocates suggest too many people are focused on signs dollar and not on the reasoning behind the proposal.

An extended comment period on New York’s congestion pricing plan recently ended. It is now up to the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to submit a response to the Federal Highway Administration and see if it gets approval to move forward with the plan that aims to reduce vehicle loading in the central business district and generate additional transit revenue. projects.

An official scale has not yet been decided. Proposals have ranged from $9 to $23 for non-commercial vehicles traveling under 60th Street during rush hour.

“It’s not about penalizing you specifically. It’s about a fashion shift,” Renae Reynolds, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, told New Jersey 101.5. “It’s about investing in public transport, it’s about saying, maybe you don’t need to drive in the CBD every day.”

Rendering of congestion pricing in New York

Rendering of a proposed mast arm housing toll infrastructure and pavement toll system equipment on Broadway between 60th and 61st Streets in Manhattan (MTA)

According to a TSTC analysis, more than 75% of New Jersey-Manhattan commuters use public transportation. Less than 2% of New Jersey workers overall would be subject to the new charge, according to the analysis, and the median income of New Jersey commuters driving to Manhattan is $107,996.

“Congestion pricing puts a big thumb on the scale to reduce driving and encourage transit ridership, reduce air pollution and climate pollutants,” said Doug O’Malley, director of the New Jersey Environment.

Plan supporters held a rally Thursday in Jersey City, arguing that the benefits of tolling the bustling commercial district to fund public transit will be shared by New Jerseyans and New Yorkers.

“For the small percentage who want or need to continue driving in the city, there will be less traffic,” said Zoe Baldwin, New Jersey director for the Regional Plan Association.

On the same day as the rally, the New Jersey Assembly’s Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee introduced a resolution opposing the congestion pricing plan.

“In New Jersey, we are disproportionately punished by congestion pricing,” said Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, R-Bergen, before the vote.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he “likes the concept” of congestion pricing, but suggested it should only happen if New Jersey drivers receive credit for tolls already paid at highway-railway crossings. hudson river.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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