The officials who are overseeing congestion pricing in New York City on Wednesday provided details of their recommendations for how much drivers should pay to enter the busiest part of Manhattan and who should get discounts.
New York is expected to become the first city in the nation to implement congestion pricing as soon as next spring. The system will charge cars, buses, motorcycles and trucks a rate based on vehicle size and occupancy to drive into Manhattan on or below 60th Street, including popular tourist destinations like Times Square and busy shopping districts like Chelsea and SoHo.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, the West Side Highway and parts of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel are excluded.
This is how the program is set to work, if it is approved by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority early next year. The program still faces a legal challenge from the state of New Jersey.
What will tolls cost?
Cars entering the tolling zone, known as the Central Business District, will be charged $15, but will have to pay only once a day, the Traffic Mobility Review Board, which advises the M.T.A. on congestion pricing, is set to recommend in a report. Depending on their size, commercial trucks will be charged either $24 or $36. The same rates apply to buses, but not those that are “providing transit or commuter services.” Motorcycles will be charged $7.50 only once a day.
Taxis and ride-share vehicles won’t be charged the daily rate, but an additional $1.25 will be added to taxi fares and $2.50 to ride-shares.
These rates will be in effect during most of the day, between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Will any tolls be discounted?
Yes. Low-income drivers can register with the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, the body in charge of congestion pricing, for a 50 percent discount on all trips into the Central Business District following the first 10 trips in a month. This group of drivers includes people with household incomes under $50,000 who drive to work in the district.
Drivers entering Manhattan via routes that already require tolls, such as the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, will receive a $5 credit against the daily congestion charge.
Public works vehicles, like garbage trucks and snow plows, are exempt from congestion pricing.
How will the M.T.A. track cars that enter the tolling zone?
Electronic detection points will be placed at entrances and exits to the tolling zone. On avenues that run north and south in Manhattan, the equipment will generally be placed between 60th and 61st Streets.
The authority estimates that it will install 120 detection points in all; 85 would be placed on traffic poles and arms, while 35 would be placed on structures like bridges and overhead signs.
Why is the city doing this?
The aim of congestion pricing is to reduce traffic, curb air pollution and use the new revenue — projected to be in the billions — to improve public transport. Many cities in Europe and Asia have introduced congestion pricing. New York is one of the most congested cities in the United States; all of that traffic is estimated to cost the local economy $20 billion per year, according to the board’s recommendations.
Ana Ley contributed reporting.