NEW YORK (PIX11) – The Federal Highway Administration will decide if congestion pricing arrives in parts of Manhattan.
The online comment period has wrapped up after hundreds of people spoke at the six hearings. The comments will be transcribed and included in the 1,000-page proposal.
After the decision is announced by federal government, a six-person review board will meet.
The state law from 2019 that created the framework for congestion pricing set up the next steps.
The governor has appointed five members and the mayor appointed one. The review board will set the price and decide exemptions, including for taxis, trucks and residents of the district. Credit for paying other bridge and tunnel tolls has also been suggested.
State law already set an exemption for vehicles transporting disabled persons, emergency vehicles and people who live within the boundaries and make less than $60,000 a year.
There could be additional comment periods.
Congestion pricing revenue has to be spent on improvement projects for the bus, subway LIRR and Metro-North. It is expected to raise $1 billion a year, which would allow the MTA to sell bonds and generate about $15 billion.
Assembly Member David Weprin (D-Queens) said he will introduce state legislation to delay implementation until 2029.
“From my district, a trip into Manhattan can take two hours with two buses and two subways. Driving cuts it in half,” he testified.
Gov. Kathy Hochul supports congestion pricing to fund transit improvements.
Supporters of congestion pricing advocate for the positive impact on climate change, health and improving accessibility in the system.
Tiffany-Ann Taylor is vice-president of transportation for the Regional Plan Association. “The best way to get around is using public transportation,” she said.
The MTA estimates that 85% of commuters into the Central Business District in Manhattan arrive by public transportation.
The toll has been suggested between $9 to $23, with discounts possible at off-peak times.
It would charge the drivers of vehicles who travel from 60th Street to the Battery, except for the FDR or West Side Highway.