MTA holds virtual hearing for New Jersey drivers to sound off on congestion pricing
New Jersey residents had a chance to voice their opinions on congestion pricing in a virtual meeting on Monday.
The plan, known as the Central Business District Tolling Program, would charge drivers a fee to drive south of 60th Street once they are in Manhattan. The money is meant to raise funds for MTA infrastructure improvements and to reduce traffic in one of New York City’s busiest areas.
New York approved the plan in 2019. The MTA is holding a series of public virtual meetings on the issue.
Many New Jersey commuters expressed their concern over increased commuting costs, increased traffic outside of the business district and demands for a fairer plan.
“Once again, New Jersey and New Jersey folks are getting stuck with the short end of the stick,” says New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell.
A group opposed to the plan has formed and has spoken out against it.
“The pandemic proved we don’t have to go to New York. We didn’t go to New York for a year and a half. And now they are going to make it more expensive to go back to jobs we’d rather do here in New Jersey,” says Ron Simoncini, the executive director of the Fair Congestion Pricing Alliance.
Businesses are also concerned, especially those that deliver goods and materials to Manhattan from Ne Jersey. It could cause them to pass those costs onto customers.
Congestion pricing is still more than a year away and details are still being worked out. The fee would be on top of any tolls drivers pay for bridges and tunnels.