Federal judge to hear last-ditch effort lawsuits filed against NYC congestion pricing

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Friday, May 17, 2024
Federal judge to hear several lawsuits challenging congestion pricing
N.J. Burkett has the latest from Lower Manhattan.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- As New York City's new congestion pricing plan is set to begin in just a few weeks, a federal judge will hear arguments over the controversial plan.

There have been at least four lawsuits filed in New York that challenge the tolling program.

These lawsuits are part of a final effort to pump the brakes on the plan set to go into effect on June 30.

The lawsuits include one filed by New Yorkers Against Congestion Pricing Tax, UFT's President Michael Mulgrew, and Staten Island President Vito Fossella, plus another by a group of city residents.

Congestion pricing in the city will soon slap a $15 toll onto drivers traveling into the heart of Manhattan just south of 60th Street.

Critics argue the tolling program would shift traffic and pollution to minority neighborhoods and small businesses. Those in support of the lawsuit are calling for an environmental assessment and say the one the MTA had approved by the Federal Highway Administration last year wasn't comprehensive.

MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber doesn't seem fazed by the hearing.

"We're confident the federal government gave us an A+, we did 4,000 pages of study, we are confident, but the more signal to our New Yorkers is we have all the infrastructure ready to go, that is the indication of our level of confidence and we are taking all the steps," Lieber said.

Oral arguments will be heard together as the four lawsuit will all get attention on Friday.

In April, a federal judge was met with an outcry against the plan when they heard a lawsuit filed by New Jersey officials, including Governor Phil Murphy.

The judge is expected to make a ruling in that case early next month.

ALSO READ | New York Congestion Pricing: What to Know

ny congestion pricing plan
FILE - Heavy traffic fills Third Avenue, in New York's Manhattan borough near the United Nations, Sept. 20, 2021.
Ted Shaffrey


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