Will Manhattan ‘congestion toll’ keep New Jerseyans out of the Big Apple?

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a “congestion toll” for drivers in the busiest parts of Manhattan. The mayor says that the goal is to reduce traffic and to raise money for the subway system.

But critics say that the toll impacts mostly people who live outside of New York City, especially New Jersey residents.

With so many options to travel to New York City from New Jersey – trains, light rail, bus and ferry – some are wondering if it will change New Jersey’s traveling habits.

“I just avoid driving in New York City at all costs. I live [in New Jersey] but I lived in New York for 35 years. And traffic only gets worse,” one commuter told News 12 New Jersey.

Some travelers say that since New Jersey Transit increased train ticket prices, they do drive to New York City when they can.

So how much will it cost and what is the cheaper option? A committee formed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended a toll of $11.52 per car.

A family of four taking an NJ Transit train from the Wayne Route 23 station to New York Penn station for a day will pay about $57.60. If they drive, even with the congestion toll, it would cost about $22 in tolls.

But what about if the traveler commutes to New York for work? Currently, with the tolls, it would cost about $210 to commute to New York a month. The congestion price would double that cost – much more than a monthly NJ Transit pass.

The congestion plan still needs the approval of the New York State Legislature and the $11.52 figure could change before a law is finalized.

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