It’s Going To Cost Nearly $30 To Drive Into New York City
You read that right, Rat Rock Nation. If you drive into New York City there’s going to be a FIFTEEN DOLLAR SURCHARGE to enter the island of Manhattan from New Jersey. That’s because the MTA has approved congestion pricing which calls for an additional $15 toll for drivers entering Manhattan lower than 60th Street during peak hours.
The plan now enters a 4 month public comment period after which it looks like the price to enter Manhattan will skyrocket to near $30. The MTA seems gung ho on this idea so, as much as we hate it, it seems like a done deal.
The congestion pricing surcharge will be on top of the normal toll to cross into Manhattan. For the Holland Tunnel that is currently $14.75 during peak hours. Add the congestion pricing $15 and you’re looking at $29.75. Say what? The MTA is planning on adding the $15 congestion pricing surcharge from 5am to 9pm but they’re also tacking on a surcharge at other times too. For example, the plan calls for a charge of “75% lower” in non-peak hours. That means that at midnight you’ll pay a congestion pricing surcharge of $3.75.
Again, at midnight. Congestion pricing AT MIDNIGHT. I get it, it’s the “city that never sleeps” but you can’t tell me that congestion pricing is necessary at midnight. Not unless you want a black eye.
The $15 charge is for cars. There’s a smaller charge for motorcycles ($7.50) but a much larger surcharge for trucks ($24 or $36 depending on the truck’s size).
Why is the MTA doing Congestion Pricing?
The MTA Congestion Pricing program is intended to reduce traffic and pollution under 60th Street in Manhattan. Some people who reside above 60th are now concerned that their neighborhoods will be much more crowded as a result of the EZ Pass Tolls that the city plans to install on southbound roadways that take travelers south of 60th. So, if you thought you could just pop over the George Washington Bridge and drive south on the FDR or West Side Highway, think again. They’ll have tolls over those roads at 60th to charge drivers for driving into Manhattan’s “Central Business District”.
As I reported above, there’s a public comment period that goes into effect before this new toll hits our wallets. Two lawsuits are challenging the plan. One of the lawsuits was launched by the Murphy Administration and the other by the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Neither of those lawsuits seem to have traction yet. So. We’ll. See.
Their ultimate goal is to increase the usage of mass transit into New York City. It remains to be seen if taxing people from New Jersey an extra $15 will make us park on the west side of the Hudson.