NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – Some New Jersey residents and environmentalists want to ensure their voices are heard in the MTA’s congestion pricing debate. Groups like Riders Alliance, Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Environment New Jersey gathered for a press conference and rally Thursday morning on the pier at the Jersey City waterfront.
They chanted, “congestion pricing now!” The groups said the MTA’s congestion pricing plan would reduce air pollution and gridlock and benefit New Jersey commuters arriving in Manhattan with better bus and train service.
Danna Dennis, with Riders Alliance, recently moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey. She said, “I understand when I drive in, it may be an additional toll, and I’m okay with that.” However, Dennis added that when she takes public transit into the city, “It means my train is going to run on time, it means I can rely on the subway to have more elevators and escalators, it means my buses are going to move faster.”
Under the congestion pricing plan, drivers will be charged anywhere from $9 to $23 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street. The MTA said the revenue would be used for repairs and infrastructure improvements on the city’s subways and buses, as well as the LIRR and Metro North.
There are no plans for the money to be used to improve PATH or New Jersey Transit trains. Doug O’Malley, the Director of Environment New Jersey, said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy should fight for that. In addition, O’Malley said, “the Murphy administration needs to step up and provide a long-term funding plan to ensure there are more options for New Jerseyans to get around the state and into New York.”
PIX11 News reached out to Governor Murphy’s office for comment. They have not yet issued a response.