FORT LEE, N.J. (PIX11) – The wheels keep turning.
The MTA’s proposed Congestion Pricing could begin as soon as next April. In the proposal, drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street could pay as much as $23 each time. This week, two separate efforts combatting congestion pricing are underway.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez announced he’s bringing a new bill to the Senate to address the tolling plan.
“This is all about a money grab for the MTA’s budget,” said Menendez.
Menendez’s legislation says any state that imposes a congestion pricing plan to the adverse effect of a neighboring state would lose federal transportation dollars.
“It doesn’t work well when you ultimately pick on one neighbor as a way to solve your problems,” said Menendez.
In response to Sen. Menendez, MTA Chief of External Affairs John J. McCarthy told PIX11 News in a statement, “New York’s Congestion Pricing program has been developed in full compliance with the federal government’s own value pricing pilot program and every applicable federal rule and regulation. The idea of penalizing the MTA for taking steps invited and approved by the federal government is slightly absurd.”
In a separate effort, the nonprofit organization Choose New Jersey is launching a multi-week digital billboard campaign to lure businesses across the river.
In a statement, Governor Phil Murphy said, “New York’s congestion tax scheme is unfair for north jersey commuters who already pay so much in tolls and fees. At the same time, it presents an opportunity for us to stress the value proposition of new jersey for New York City residents and businesses alike: an ideal location, talented pool of workers, less congestion, and, most importantly, no congestion tax. I’m out there every day making the argument for why businesses should give New Jersey a close look for relocation.”
This comes after a major hurdle cleared for the tolling plan on Friday, as the Federal Highway Administration gave New York the go-ahead. Its final decision will come after a 30-day review by the public.