New York City Set To Impose New Tolls In Manhattan

New York City will soon impose a daily toll for drivers traveling in Manhattan. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board overwhelmingly approved a plan to tax weekday “peak time” drivers $15 a day and truck drivers up to $36.

ABC 2 News reported that the plan, which was years in the making, will see Uber and Lyft customers, taxi drivers and motorcyclists also paying higher toll fees.

Of the ten MTA board members, only David Mack opposed the plan.

The nation’s first policy of its kind has faced fierce backlash, including six lawsuits from private citizens and advocacy groups.

Those opposing the tax argue it is a draconian measure, arbitrary in its implementation, and will negatively impact the many who work in Manhattan’s business district. Proponents claim the measure will decrease traffic by 17% and reduce pollution.

City officials call the “congestion pricing plan” one of “the most significant decisions the MTA board has made.” They emphasize that toll revenue will support overdue city public transportation system upgrades.

NBC 4 reported that toll revenue will provide “millions of dollars for the city’s aging transit system and cut down on traffic by charging drivers to enter a large swath of Manhattan.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is a proponent of the plan. “Congestion pricing means cleaner air, better transit and less gridlock on New York City’s streets. Today’s vote by the MTA Board is a critical step forward,” she said.

“The proposal approved today heeds my call to lower the toll rate by nearly 35 percent from the maximum rate originally considered,” Hochul added.

MTA Chairman Janno Lieber also supported the plan, saying, “Right now, we are very much ready and excited to accommodate the projected movement of a portion of the driving public to transit. We do have plenty of room on transit, but that does not mean that we’re going to stop pushing to increase service.”

The Daily Caller reported that Susan Lee, president of New Yorkers Against Congestion Pricing, is moving to sue the MTA over the policy. “It’s going to kill Broadway,” she said.

Complaining that New York City tops the nation for the overall tax burden imposed on residents, Lee added: “You’re going to charge me $15 to come in to see a play, in addition to what I’m already spending?”

Axios reported that there are some exceptions to the toll tax, which will take effect in June. Sections of FDR Drive and the West Side Highway will reportedly be exempt.

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