Manhattan congestion toll plan hits 'milestone,' MTA boss says

Whatever your feelings are on congestion pricing — the move that would charge vehicles a toll somewhere in the range of $9 to $23 for entering Manhattan below 60th Street — it appears to be happening.

MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said the project has reached a milestone: the MTA has submitted answers to a list of questions posed by federal regulators as part of a lengthy environmental review process, which had forced a slight delay.

"We're hoping that we lost no more than four to six weeks as a result of some of the difficulties in answering all those data requests and questions," Lieber said.

The MTA submitted answers to those questions to the feds last week.

When asked about the development, Mayor Eric Adams said the program must have exemptions.

Exemptions will be created — but for which vehicles remain to be seen. That will be up to a new independent board called the Traffic Mobility Review Board, or TMRB.

"So there are a lot of views out there," Lieber said. "We have to let the TMRB do its work balancing those." 

It will be a real balancing act. The MTA only has about 7% of the $55 billion it has budgeted for through 2024, according to the good government group Reinvent Albany. The more exemptions the MTA makes, the higher the base toll price will have to be.