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NJ officials voice strong opposition to New York’s congestion pricing plan

Democratic Congressmen Josh Gottheimer calls the congestion pricing plan “an anti-environment proposal.”

Matt Trapani

May 9, 2023, 5:12 PM

Updated 410 days ago


New Jersey is preparing to fight back against New York City’s congestion pricing plan.
State and federal officials are weighing options after the federal government gave the green light for the initiative this weekend. Gov. Phil Murphy says all options are still on the table – from lawsuits to procedural roadblocks through the Port Authority.
And the move also has New Jersey officials rethinking just how much they want to pay up for transportation projects that cross the Hudson River.
“I’m sure I won’t make a lot of friends from New York after you broadcast this, but that’s not my purpose. My purpose is to be honest,” says New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
The commissioner says that New Jersey could scale back the money it sends to joint transportation projects with New York. She says that this is one of the options the governor is mulling over as to how to respond to looming congestion pricing.
Democratic Reps. Rob Menendez, Jr. and Josh Gottheimer met outside the Holland Tunnel on Tuesday to also address the issue. They said that they are looking to cut $2 billion worth of funding to the MTA and want to provide tax credits to offset a possible $23 toll increase for commuters.
“Put alone all the other arguments about sticking it to Jersey families with an extra $5,000 per year tax. Put all that aside, we’re just looking at the environmental impacts of that,” Gottheimer says.
Gottheimer says congestion pricing will actually make the air outside Manhattan less clean.
"There will be increases in traffic, pollutants and mobile air toxins through 2045 in the Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County and Bergen County," Gottheimer says.
But Danny Pearlstein, with the Riders Alliance, a non-profit representing New York City bus and subway riders, disagrees with Gottheimer’s assessment.
“Jersey drivers deserve much more than lies from pandering politicians,” he says. “I don’t believe there’s a congressman in Bergen County who cares what my kids breathe. I’m not buying that for a minute.”
The Riders Alliance disputes that congestion pricing will lead to dirtier air on our side of the Hudson.
Even though the feds have weighed in, it still will take at least a year for New York to implement its new plan.

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