MTA Board Approves NYC Congestion Toll At $15 Per Day

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 28: Nextel Cup Series drivers, lead by the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, drive through Times Square in a victory lap through the streets of midtown November 28, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
3:55 PM -Wednesday, March 27, 2024

New York is set to become the first U.S. city to make drivers pay a $15 toll in order to drive on Manhattan’s busiest streets. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) board voted on Wednesday to finalize the congestion pricing law.


The new tolls, which are set to be enforced beginning in June, were approved by an 11-1 vote. 

The approval comes after it was met with heavy criticism by the public. Many New Yorkers argued that the law is a cash grab and they also claimed that officials refused to listen to any requests for exceptions by dozens of groups of commuters. 

“Don’t kill the goose that lays the egg,” said Nassau County board member David Mack, the only person who voted against the pricing plan.

With the vote, it authorizes a $15 toll on a majority of commuter passenger vehicles that drive into Manhattan south of 60th Street, a zone that is south of Central Park, during daytime hours. 

Additionally, tolls will be more expensive for larger vehicles, and cheaper for late-night entries into the city as well as for motorcycle riders. 

The MTA board first approved the plan late last year. 

Supporters of the plan have long argued that the highly increased tolls will cut down peak-day congestion in Manhattan and generate billions in revenue for transit and railroad upgrades.

“Funding the infrastructure of the subway, buses, commuter rail, while at the same time reducing congestion for all New Yorkers and helping to clean the air, this is a trifecta we think is critically important,” MTA board member, David Jones, said as he celebrated the approval.

However, critics who have opposed the toll argue that it could unfairly target some drivers and possibly end up pushing traffic and pollution out of New York City and into other areas. 

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) and other New York labor unions have begun filing lawsuits in order to stop the plan from coming to fruition. 

“This is far from over and we will continue to fight this blatant cash grab,” Murphy said in a statement. “The MTA’s actions today are further proof that they are determined to violate the law in order to balance their budget on the backs of New Jersey commuters.

“We will continue to avail ourselves of every option in order to protect residents on this side of the Hudson from an unfair tolling scheme that discriminates against New Jerseyans, especially lower and middle-income drivers.”

“The MTA ignored the voices of countless Hudson Valley residents, firefighters, police officers, union members, and teachers alike, public servants who might live in the Hudson Valley, but protect New York City.”

The prices for what each vehicle will be charged for a once-a-day toll between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on week days and 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends. Passenger vehicles will need to pay $15, small trucks will pay $24, large trucks will pay $36, motorcycles will pay $7.50, and taxi drivers will pay $1.25 per ride.

In 2019, the MTA board was required by a state law to approve a tolling structure that would generate $1 billion annually to help pay for new signal overhauls, subway trains, and a new expansion of the system into East Harlem. 

A majority of the ongoing cases have been consolidated in both Manhattan and Newark federal courts, with oral arguments set to take place in New York on April 3rd.

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