The public will have a chance to weigh in beginning next month on New York’s plan to charge a new toll for motorists entering Manhattan.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday announced 13 virtual meetings beginning on Sept. 13 and lasting through mid-October. The final three meetings, on Oct. 7, 12 and 13, will focus specifically on the program's potential impact on minority and low-income communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
New York plans to create a new tolling zone for the area south of 60th Street in Manhattan, an area that accommodates hundreds of thousands of vehicles daily from the New Jersey and New York suburbs and beyond. The plan, commonly referred to as congestion pricing, has been tried in Europe but would be the first of its kind in any U.S. city.
The MTA says congestion pricing is necessary to reduce traffic gridlock and help fund improvements to New York’s bus and subway systems. New York's legislature approved the plan in 2019 and it was supposed to go into effect this year, but it stalled under the Trump administration and was eventually given the go-ahead from federal regulators this year.
It isn't likely to be put in place until 2023, as the MTA has said the environmental review process will take until late 2022.
The congestion pricing plan has been met with criticism from some New Jersey politicians who say motorists from their districts already pay high tolls to enter the city and shouldn't have to pay an additional fee.
This month, Democratic New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced proposed legislation that would withhold federal transit grants from New York and offer tax credits to New Jersey motorists if the fee is implemented.