MTA chair in NJ to respond to congestion pricing lawsuit claiming it will increase pollution

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, November 13, 2023
Settlement conference held over MTA's congestion pricing plan
The latest on New Jersey's controversial congestion pricing lawsuit.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey officials came face to face with officials from the MTA in court in Newark on Monday for a congestion pricing settlement conference.

The Garden State sued the federal government to block the MTA's plan from going into effect. The state wants a "full and proper" environmental impact review.

Congestion pricing would charge motorists for driving south of 60th Street in Manhattan and is supposed to reduce traffic in Lower Manhattan, thus improving air quality and making it safer, other officials say.

The plan, however, could mean many more cars and trucks going into New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy has said congestion pricing will create more traffic and pollution in New Jersey as people try to find ways to avoid paying the toll.

"And with that comes pollutants, filth, dirt, atmosphere. It impacts everybody in my borough," Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said earlier this month

Sokolich is the lead plaintiff in a civil lawsuit seeking to slow the MTA's plan to implement congestion pricing in the spring of 2024.

The class action lawsuits seeks an immediate stop to the congestion tax and a full and proper environmental study from the Department of Transportation, that includes the impact on New Jersey.

If the court does not stop congestion pricing, the lawsuit seeks to have New York provide funding for a medical monitoring program to evaluate and treat respiratory distress and asthma resulting from the congestion tax.

MTA Chairman Janno Lieber was in New Jersey to respond to the lawsuit filed by the state.

Lieber says New Jersey commuters will benefit from congestion pricing too and the plan also means safer streets, cleaner air and less traffic.

"Not only will the folks who do driver get a faster commute, but the 40% of New Jerseyans who actually use the MTA after they get off New Jersey Transit will benefit from better transit from the investments that we're making," Lieber said.

The MTA's attorney said she hopes for an amicable resolution to the lawsuit.

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Darla Miles has the latest details.


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