MTA board advances congestion pricing plan to next step for public comment period

The MTA board voted Wednesday to advance its congestion pricing plan to the next step — a 60-day public comment period.

This will allow people to weigh in on the plan and ask questions.

Some board members expressed concerns Wednesday, mentioning the need for exemptions for yellow taxis and school buses.

Thirty-five members of the public also spoke out.

“We fully understand the regional benefits that it could provide, which would be cleaner air for everyone, more consistent and dedicated funding for public transit which is important, and definitely less congestion,” one member of the public said.

While some spoke in support of the plan, others were against it.

“Fifteen times five is $75, you’re basically saying to all these low-income New Yorkers, well sorry we’re basically going to price you out,” another member of the public said.

Congestion pricing would impose a $15 fee on vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street. Additionally, trucks could pay $24-$36, depending on size, motorcycles would pay $7.50, taxis would pay $1.25 and rideshare vehicles would pay $2.50.

“Congestion pricing means cleaner air, better transit and less gridlock on New York City’s streets and today’s vote by the MTA Board is a critical step forward,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “The proposal approved today heeds my call to lower the toll rate by nearly 35 percent from the maximum rate originally considered. This initiative will make New York City a global leader in transportation policy, and I’m grateful for the work of the Traffic Mobility Review Board to bring us to this milestone.”

If approved following the public review process, tolling could begin as early as June.

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