MTA to hold final public hearings on congestion pricing before plan goes into effect

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, March 4, 2024
MTA to hold final public hearings on congestion pricing before plan goes into effect
Sonia Rincon has the details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New Yorkers will have another chance to share their thoughts on the approaching congestion pricing plan before all of Manhattan south of Central Park turns into a toll zone.

Another set of meetings is scheduled for Monday for the MTA to hear commuters' thoughts on the plan.

Congestion pricing was approved by the New York State legislature and is slated to take effect mid-June.

Most drivers in private cars would pay a congestion fee of at least $15, or $22.50 if they aren't enrolled in a regional toll collection program. That would come on top of the already hefty tolls to enter the city via some river crossings, like the $13.38 to $17.63 it costs to take a car through the Lincoln or Holland tunnels.

The charges will come by way of gantries, which have license plate readers and E-Z pass sensors installed, that will scan drivers as they enter Manhattan south of 60th Street.

Exemptions are already planned for emergency vehicles, specialized government vehicles, and those with disabled passengers.

Low-income residents would get discounts and tax credits.

The public hearings on congestion pricing last week caused an uproar from the FDNY, who urged agency officials to think twice about the plan.

"If a firefighter comes on (the subway) with this bag that's stinking from carcinogens and off-gassing from the fire they were at two hours ago, nobody wants that bag sitting next to their family member or their child who's on their way to school," said Fire union president Andrew Ansbro on Friday. No one should be comfortable with that."

"I'm very sympathetic to their view that when they're called upon to turn their personal vehicle into a city vehicle for transportation and gear-that that ought to be thought through," said MTA Chairman Janno Lieber. "If you have lots of exemptions or discounts, everybody ends up paying more on the base toll. So we are still very much committed to that vision. But we're listening to what we're hearing here, and we're going to take into account in the discussion."

Two hearings are set for Monday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the MTA headquarters.

Those interested in attending can do so either in person or watch via livestream.

There is also an option to submit written comments until March 11.


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