NYC may finally start charging drivers for the hassle of navigating congested lower Manhattan, something it’s been trying to do for years. (We last covered it in 2019!)
The federal government is expected to approve its Central Business District Tolling Program after a public review period ends today, per CNN.
How it works
The program is designed to reduce congestion in the area, where 700k vehicles travel daily.
If implemented, drivers would pay $9-$23 to drive below 60th Street during peak hours starting next spring. Some, such as taxi/ride-share and low-income drivers, may receive discounts or exemptions.
Opponents, including taxi and ride-share drivers and those from the suburbs and outer boroughs, have been fending off congestion pricing for over a decade.
But proponents say it matters, because that much traffic:
- Costs New Yorkers, on average, 117 hours and ~$2k in lost productivity annually
- Creates pollution (including noise pollution from all the honking)
Also: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority would use congestion fees to improve public transit, which residents could use to dine, shop, and work in the area — sans the stress of driving and parking.
This might sound wild for the car-loving USA…
… but similar policies have been implemented elsewhere.
- London improved congestion by 30% after implementing charges in 2003.
- One study found that Stockholm, which implemented congestion pricing permanently in 2007, had reduced air pollution by 5%-15%.
But the OG champ? Singapore’s been doing it since 1975.
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