NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- MTA has reached an agreement with the federal government to proceed with implementing congestion pricing south of 60th Street in Manhattan.
The MTA had been answering more than 400 questions posed by federal authorities before taking the next step.
"Congestion pricing is on the move!" MTA Chair and CEO Janno Leiber declared at an MTA board meeting Wednesday. "We are now moving forward quickly to get this historic program up and running."
Lieber said he expects the federal Department of Transportation to approve the agency's congestion pricing environmental assessment "very soon" with the document coming out in "early in August."
The agencies will then hold a series of six virtual public hearings seeking public feedback, beginning on Thursday, August 25 and concluding on Wednesday, August 31.
Should congestion pricing be approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the Traffic Mobility Review Board would then develop recommendations for toll rates, as well as any credits, discounts, or exemptions and then present their recommendation to the MTA board.
The recommendations must ensure collection of annual net revenues and fees necessary to fund at least $15 billion for the MTA's 2020 to 2024 capital program.
It's welcome news for the MTA which was set to meet after consultants released projections earlier this week showing the MTA could "go off a fiscal cliff" by 2024.
That would mean dramatic service cuts, fare hikes, and layoffs.
The MTA was expecting to see ridership at 77% of pre-pandemic levels by this year but is only at about 60% now.
Many straphangers say they still don't feel safe in the subway system as MTA officials continue to focus on turnstile hopping and other petty crimes in hopes it will deter criminals.
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