New York City can become the first US town to implement a congestion fee for motorists entering its busiest areas.
The Big Apple’s new plan, laid out Wed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, could see drivers charged as much as $23 to get into Manhattan’s central business district.
A study launched with the plan projected a reduction in the number of cars entering Manhattan by 15% to 20%, which local officials hope will de-clog streets and boost public-transit ridership.
Local drivers in the city can expect to encounter the $23 fee, while the cost of a round trip simply by car from areas like Princeton, New Jersey, could be just as much as $120.
The new fees, which would go into effect as soon as 2023, are projected to create in $1 billion per year for MTA, which operates the city’s public transportation system and faces a financial crisis as ridership is constantly on the lag behind pre-pandemic amounts.
Some other major global cities such as Singapore and London already have congestion pricing policies to stamp down traffic.
The city wants to cost a daily variable toll pertaining to vehicles entering or outstanding within the central business district, defined as between 60th Street in midtown Manhattan and Battery Park on Manhattan’s southern tip.