New York City Implements Larger Than Usual Congestion Toll Fees: What You Need to Know

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/28/2024
After transportation authorities authorized a $15 cost for most automobiles heading into portion of Manhattan, New York is on pace to become the first US city to impose congestion fees on drivers entering its core business area.

The AP reports that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members approved the congestion pricing scheme on Wednesday, with a projected June implementation date. Following months of public presentation of the proposal, the board authorized only modest tweaks and rejected pleas for exclusions from many commuter organizations.

The majority of commuter passenger cars entering Manhattan during the daytime south of 60th Street are now subject to a $15 toll, per the referendum. Larger cars pay a greater toll, while motorbikes and late-night arrivals into the city pay a reduced toll.

The new fees, according to their supporters, would encourage more people to use public transportation, decrease traffic, which will speed up emergency vehicles and public buses, lessen pollution, and generate revenue for upgrades to the subway system. The scheme must collect $1 billion annually to finance the city's public bus and subway systems, which serve 4 million users every day, according to a 2019 state Legislature approval of the fees. Along with defining the zone's boundaries—which include the busiest portion of the city—it also retracted earlier plans to include the region up to 86th Street. The epidemic and the absence of government legislation caused the project to halt. There were two months of public feedback before the vote on Wednesday.

Depending on the size of the vehicle and the time of day, tolls might range from $1.75 for motorbikes traveling over night to $36 for trucks towing trailers and tour buses during the day. On weekdays, the nighttime hours are from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and on weekends, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Those who do not have an E-ZPass—a gadget that remotely gathers toll data—will pay extra. Additionally, license plate scanners are supposed to recognize other cars so that postal bills may be sent to them, much as on bridges. There were very few exemptions approved. Vehicles transporting handicapped persons and some low-income commuters get a permit, as do emergency vehicles, specialized municipal vehicles, buses on regular public routes or city school contracts. Tax credits and rebates are available to drivers with low incomes.


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