Details of MTA’s congestion pricing plan for Manhattan drivers unveiled

MTA plans on increasing the toll amount for drivers on Manhattan's West Side Highway.

The MTA plans on increasing the toll amount for drivers on Manhattan’s West Side Highway. AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Drivers could face $9 to $23 in fees to drive into parts of Manhattan as soon as late 2023, according to the MTA’s congestion pricing plan that’ll be unveiled Wednesday.

The amounts and timeline were detailed in a 34-page summary of the project’s much-delayed environmental review, which was provided to reporters by the cash-strapped agency Tuesday.

“The tremendous detail included in this assessment makes clear the widespread benefits that would result from central business district tolling,” said MTA chief Janno Lieber in a statement. “Bottom line: this is good for the environment, good for public transit and good for New York and the region.”

The summary reveals the MTA is considering a tiered plan that would charge drivers the most to enter the tolling district — south of Manhattan’s 60th Street — during peak daytime hours, while providing discounts to those who drive in during evening or overnight hours.

The MTA’s study outlined a slew of options that its toll board will consider, including:

  • A $9 fee during peak time — typically defined as 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. — which commuters would pay once per day when they exit the West Side Highway or FDR into Midtown or Lower Manhattan. There would be no discounts for commuters who pay tolls on tunnels or bridges into Manhattan
  • A $23 fee during peak time, which would be paid by all drivers. But New Jersey and outer-borough commuters would be allowed to subtract the tunnel tolls they pay to cross into Manhattan from that congestion fee. The MTA would also exempt cabs from the congestion fee under that proposal.

MTA officials said Tuesday the proposed discount plan would cover 100% of the cost of the East River tolls, 100% of the off-peak toll for Port Authority crossings and between 90 to 95% of the peak hour PA toll.

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