N.Y. MTA begins 76-day public review of its congestion pricing proposals

Bonds

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold public hearings and accept comments on its plans to implement a new series of tolls for vehicles entering Manhattan’s Central Business District.

The 76-day public review process on congestion pricing plan started Wednesday and will run through March 11. The MTA will accept input from the public via e-mail, the U.S. Postal Service, phone and fax.

Electronic tolling gantries have already been installed in Manhattan in anticipation of the launch of congestion pricing tolls.

Bloomberg News

The MTA will also hold four hybrid virtual and in-person public hearings on the tolls in February and March, starting on Feb. 29 and finishing up on March 4. 

On Dec. 7, the MTA board voted to move ahead with its plan and set up the review process. Over March and April, the MTA will review the comments and then either modify, update or adopt the plan with no changes and start collecting tolls in May.

The proposed toll structure is available online and is based on the recommendations made by the Traffic Mobility Review Board. 

The TMRB said that its preliminary traffic modeling shows the toll structure will result in:

  • Reduced congestion in the CBD — an estimated 17% fewer vehicles will enter the CBD, and 9% fewer miles will be driven in the CBD.
  • Reduced congestion in the region — the total number of miles driven in the 28-county study area is also projected to go down.
  • Improved regional air quality.
  • Minimal potential impacts to the taxi and for hire vehicle industry.
  • Enough annual net revenue to fund $15 billion for transit improvements outlined in the MTA’s 2020-2024 capital program.
  • Truck diversions in line with what was described in the Final Environmental Assessment. Areas with high existing air pollution and associated health burdens would see similar or reduced truck traffic.

While the public review process is underway, related electronic tolling infrastructure will continue to be installed at TBTA bridges and tunnels. As of now, 60% of the sites are complete, the MTA said.

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