Congestion pricing may be headed to New York City by the end of 2023.
During a budget hearing with the New York City Council's transportation committee this week, MTA Director of Capital Program Management Steve Berrang revealed that the agency expects the federal government to approve the environmental review later this year, which will be followed by a year-long process of installing the congestion pricing infrastructure.
Congestion pricing will feature tolls for drivers south of 60th Street in Manhattan, not including the FDR Drive and the West Side Highway. The fees for cars and trucks have not been determined — it could be $9 to $23 for EZ-Pass and more for tolls-by-mail. Governor Kathy Hochul's budget proposes that licenses cannot be obscured so drivers get away without paying for the tolls.
The MTA said it hopes to generate $1 billion in revenue annually, as well as another $15 billion from selling bonds.
Berrang said about one year after getting approval from the Federal Highway Administration, "310 days to be exact," all construction relating to congestion pricing "will be complete, and we anticipate funding to start to flow to the MTA."
After the MTA has collected a year of revenue, he said, the agency can issue bonds for capital projects.
Besides helping fund a large portion of the MTA's 2020-2024 capital program, the agency estimates that congestion pricing — also known as the "Central Business Tolling District" — would help avoid 17 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save $100 million healthcare costs from reduced emissions.
Revenue from congestion pricing will go towards paying for the cost of the infrastructure and construction, and then the monies will go to New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North, for things like new signals and train cars, as well as accessibility.