New Jersey's legal battle against congestion pricing awaits federal judge's decision

New Jersey's legal challenge against the MTA's controversial congestion pricing plan is now in the hands of a federal judge.

Governor Phil Murphy has taken a firm stance against congestion pricing, saying that federal highway officials should not have approved the environmental assessment report because it wasn't thorough and did not fully address traffic mitigation nor air quality concerns for northern New Jersey communities that will see an influx of drivers trying to avoid paying $15 to enter Manhattan south of 60th street.

"The citizens of New Jersey are going to have increased air toxins, it's gonna increase traffic, it's gonna double the time to get over the George Washington Bridge in the morning, it's gonna create havoc in New Jersey," said Attorney Bruce Nagle, who represents several Bergen County areas, like Fort Lee, that could see significant impacts from the plan.

The MTA, however, says that every step of the plan was done by the book, and are accusing Murphy and the plan's opponents of last-minute tactics and legal loopholes to delay the rollout. 

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"People in London have been living with this, and it's now part of their daily lives that they welcome," said Attorney Andrew Otis, who is representing several environmental stakeholders as well as the Real Estate Board of New York City. "People in Stockholm, in Singapore other places around the world have used this as an effective way to reduce congestion and air pollution and New York can too."

The MTA plans to start congestion pricing sometime this summer.