NEW YORK (PIX11) — Congestion pricing, the long-delayed plan to toll drivers up to $23 for entering Manhattan below 60th Street, got a big boost Friday.
The two congressmen who represent the area reaffirmed their support, and are beginning a pressure campaign to get it done.
“The people of New York City have waited long enough the time for congestion pricing is now,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, (D-NY).
“It works in reducing traffic, it works in creating public space, and it ultimately works to increase the use of public transportation,” echoed Rep. Dan Goldman, (D-NY) who represents Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Both Nadler and Goldman who represents New Yorkers in Manhattan below 60th Street and outside of the proposed congestion pricing zone said it is past time to implement the toll for entering the city’s central business district.
Goldman said even his constituents outside of the impacted area, who may now have to pay the toll on a regular basis if they drive, are in support.
“The majority of the constituents I speak to in Brooklyn support congestion pricing, most of them take mass transit anyway, and they recognize the tremendous environmental benefits, the benefits to safety and traffic within the city, as well as the importance of funding the MTA,” Goldman said.
The Representatives joined activists who advocate for environmental justice, street safety, and public transportation to renew the push for final federal government approval.
However, those who drive into the city daily remain skeptical.
“It depends on how much they’re going to increase it,” said one woman waiting at the Lincoln Tunnel.
“As a commuter, I am concerned about the prices,” said another man waiting.
New Jersey, Long Island, and upstate politicians have pledged to stop the congestion pricing plan calling it an unfair tax on their constituents.
Most of the activists gathered Friday believe it’s the politics that have led the Biden Administration to delay its decision on a final go-ahead.
New York State hopes to implement congestion pricing by early 2024, it is unclear if the federal government will move its environmental review more expeditiously to allow that to happen.