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MTA board greenlights congestion pricing toll rates

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) granted its final approval on Wednesday to the congestion pricing plan for New York City, endorsing the proposed toll rates integral to the initiative’s implementation.

Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory to the MTA, heralded the decision as historic. She emphasized the significance of advancing congestion pricing, asserting New York’s leadership role in spearheading a transformative measure poised to bolster transit investment, foster cleaner air, and alleviate traffic congestion across the region.

Scheduled to commence this June, the toll’s enactment remains contingent upon the absence of judicial impediments. The MTA faces legal challenges, with four lawsuits seeking to halt the plan. Upcoming hearings in New Jersey on April 3 and April 4, along with a federal court session in Manhattan slated for May 17, will address the litigious backdrop surrounding the initiative.

According to the approved plan, vehicles entering Manhattan’s Central Business District, delineated as the area below 60th Street, will be subject to toll fees. Motorists utilizing an E-ZPass tag can expect to pay $15, while those without will incur a $22.50 charge. Trucks will face higher toll rates, with small trucks encountering a $24 fee during daylight hours and larger counterparts subject to a $36 toll. Notably, trucks will benefit from substantial nocturnal discounts.

Exceptions to the toll mandate will be extended to emergency and government vehicles classified as essential, as well as school buses and private commuter buses. Motorcycles will enjoy a reduced toll of $7.50, while a half-price discount will be offered to low-income drivers after completing ten trips within a month.

Throughout February and March, the MTA conducted a series of public hearings to solicit feedback on the proposed plan. The sessions attracted numerous stakeholders, who voiced varying perspectives, with some endorsing the initiative’s objectives and others expressing reservations about its potential ramifications.

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