Hearings, demonstrations take place over New York City's congestion pricing plan

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Thursday, August 17, 2023
Hearings, demonstrations take place over NYC's congestion pricing
A New York City Council committee held an oversight hearing on congestion pricing on Thursday. Reporter Lauren Glassberg has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The controversy over congestion pricing continues as the group deciding exactly how much drivers will pay to go below 60th Street met Thursday afternoon.

Rideshare drivers say congestion pricing will hit them hard. Many barely make a living and say a tax to drive in Midtown would hurt.

Drivers expect that the new congestion pricing will be their burden.

Currently, passengers pay a $2.75 congestion fee.

They brought their concerns to the Mobility Review Board on Thursday afternoon. It will eventually recommend a tolling structure for the Manhattan central business district.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the board, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey drivers who pay a toll at Port Authority crossings should be exempt from congestion pricing.

But there are others who support the plan and some rallied at City Hall.

"If you want to drive into Midtown, it's a convenience and you have to pay that convenience fee," said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

The infrastructure is already going up in Manhattan to charge drivers south of 60th Street as much as $23 a day.

At a City Council oversight committee on Thursday morning, the president of NYC Transit said that money will go a long way.

"The money raised from congestion pricing will pay for much needed upgrades, 21st century, cutting edge subway cars replacing 50-year-old trains currently eligible for the AARP running on the A and C lines, that is what congestion pricing is going to provide, investment in our subway system," said Richard Davey, MTA Transit President.

The tolls are not set to take effect until next spring at the earliest.

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