How will congestion pricing work for drivers in NYC?

The MTA has released its capital plan, anticipating pulling $15 billion from congestion pricing, a toll imposed on Manhattan drivers south of 60th St. and to use that money to fix the city's transit system. 

The Regional Plan Association, which has advised policymakers on transportation issues for the better part of the last century, has outlined what it considers to be the best way to enact the tax.

The RPA plan recommends a two-way fee (charging the toll both entering and exiting the congestion pricing zone) to avoid people taking advantage of off-peak times by waiting to leave the zone.

It also does not allow exemptions outside of emergency vehicles. That would include commuters from New Jersey who already are paying a hefty toll of up to $15 to enter Manhattan

The recommendations for pricing include a peak period price of $9.18 to enter the zone during peak times of 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. until 8 p.m.

That means it could cost commuters from New Jersey nearly $25 to get into Midtown Manhattan.

"The charge should be highest when the congestion is worst, and that lines up nicely with when transit is actually operating at its best," said Rachel Weinberger, Ph.D., a Senior Fellow for Transportation at the RPA.

The plan may count the current surcharge that taxi drivers pay as sufficient, rather than forcing them to pay twice.

The push is now on for lawmakers outside of New York City to make sure that the burden of congestion pricing goes not wholly placed on drivers coming from Long Island, New Jersey, and the Hudson Valley.