The Department of Transportation (DOT) has green-lit New York’s controversial congestion tax plan, which would impose a congestion tax on drivers trying to enter Manhattan during rush hour.
The Federal Highway Administration, on Friday (May 5), tentatively approved the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s environmental and legal proposals, allowing it to move forward with a 30-day public review period.
According to Politico’s reporting, the Biden administration is expected to give its final approval to the congestion pricing plan at the end of the review period.
The plan requires drivers entering Manhattan to pay up to $23 in addition to other tolls and fees.
New Jersey Democrats have opposed the plan, describing New York’s plan as unfair and a tax on Jersey drivers.
MTA officials said it would take about a year to build the necessary payment infrastructure, so the plan should go into effect in the second quarter of 2024.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s spokesperson, John Lindsay, revealed to Politico that the approval of the Biden administration “is a critical step” in making the environmental assessment publicly available for all to read, adding that the state continued to “work with.. partners” to advance congestion pricing.
Lindsay continued that the Governor was “committed to implementing congestion pricing” in an effort to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and support New York’s public transportation system, adding that the Governor’s office had “worked closely” with the community and officials to develop a plan that would accomplish those objectives.
However, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) isn’t pleased with the plan, calling it “unfair and ill-advised” and noting his opposition to the plan that he insisted would “a greater financial burden on New Jersey commuters,” while suggesting the tax is a “money grab.”