Drivers protest as MTA holds first congestion pricing meeting

There were tense moments at the first MTA meeting on the new congestion pricing plan Wednesday afternoon.

Drivers protesting outside the meeting over the new toll that will go into effect next spring for anyone crossing into Manhattan below 60th street.

No public comments were available in the meeting, but drivers still made their voices heard, holding signs and protesting outside.

"It’s going to not only hurt our business as drivers, but it’s going to hurt workers as well," one Uber driver told us.

The MTA panel was met with questions about logistics and the practicality of the plan. A few topics discussed were exemptions for emergency vehicles and discounts for drivers commuting during overnight hours.

John Durso of the Traffic Mobility Review Board said those who make those commutes often are already financially strapped.

"I spent a lot of years working 4-12 and 11-7 shifts, not making a hell of a lot of money. If I’m working those shifts and I get hit twice, once when I come in and once when I go home, and I’m not making $60,000 a year then, that’s taking money out of my kids’ mouth or paying my rent."

As we’ve reported, tolls will range between $9 to $23 for passenger cars and up to $65 dollars for small trucks. The MTA says the plan will reduce traffic, improve air quality, and help fund MTA projects like updating subways and new electric buses.

Congestion pricing is set to start next spring.