An update on the NYC congestion pricing
It’s still a long way off, but congestion pricing has begun to move forward in New York City again. In September, a series of public meetings were held to let residents speak about the proposed anti-traffic measure in Manhattan.
Congestion pricing would charge a fee to cars and trucks entering heavily trafficked areas in the city during the busiest times. The goal is to discourage drivers from making the trip and free up the city’s roadways from gridlock and pollution. The money raised by the fee would help Metropolitan Transportation Authority with subways, buses, and commuter rail costs.
Speakers favor congestion pricing
People who spoke generally favored the congestion pricing plan, with several believing Manhattan residents should be exempt. Some felt that the congestion pricing fee was unfair to residents who either do not use cars often or already pay high prices for a garage. Another concern was whether the tolls would be passed on to residents for food, medicine, and household supplies. People who live in boroughs outside Manhattan also felt the tolls would be unfair.
At a meeting for New Jersey residents, drivers wanted representation on the New York traffic board that will ultimately recommend the toll.
Congestion pricing would charge drivers a fee to travel south of 60th street in Manhattan’s central business district. Revenue raised would be dedicated to funding major improvements to MTA’s subway, bus, and two commuter railroads.
While there are no final fees yet, proposals released at the meeting have tolls at $9-$23 for drivers using the E-Z Pass system and $14-$35 for those who pay tolls by mail. The price would be less during non-peak hours. Residents who meet certain income requirements would be exempt from a fee, as would emergency vehicles and ambulances.
NYC would be the first in the U.S
If the pricing plan is approved in 2023, New York would the first city to have a congestion pricing initiative. San Francisco and Los Angeles are also currently researching congestion pricing.
Congestion pricing is popular in Europe, with some cities lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing traffic congestion. Officials believe that traffic congestion could be reduced by 20 percent if New York starts the program.
Commuter benefits can help with congestion pricing. Businesses could reduce the impact by implementing a commuter benefits program. If a company of 50 employees offers commuter benefits, they could save $24,000 a year.
If you’re interested in adding commuter benefits to your benefits package, book a meeting with us so we can help find the best option for you.