MTA board approves historic congestion pricing plan

The MTA Board voted to approve toll rates for the first congestion pricing program in the nation. 

The controversial plan could begin as early as June.

The board promises that the plan will reduce traffic in Manhattan's central business district, reduce pollution, and provide critical funding for transit improvements.

Congestion pricing is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue, money the agency said will go toward improving public transportation. Transit officials insist the plan will lead to fewer cars on the road.

School buses and public commuter buses will be exempt from Manhattan's congestion pricing toll, the MTA confirmed to FOX 5 NY's Chris Welch. 

The MTA said to FOX 5 any yellow buses under contract with the Education Department will not have to pay the planned congestion toll below 60th Street.


NYC congestion pricing: What to know ahead of Wednesday's final vote

A final vote is scheduled for Wednesday morning in New York City on the MTA’s controversial congestion pricing plan, which, if approved, could begin in June.

Publicly accessible buses that run on a regular schedule, meaning city buses and charters like Megabus and the Hampton Jitney, will also be exempt.

How much will congestion pricing cost drivers?

Most drivers in private cars would pay a congestion fee of at least $15, or $22.50 if they aren't enrolled in a regional toll collection program. That would come on top of the already hefty tolls to enter the city via some river crossings, like the $13.38 to $17.63 it costs to take a car through the Lincoln or Holland tunnels.

That price tag, it’s hoped, will lead to fewer traffic jams, reduce air pollution and provide a desperately needed annual cash infusion of around $1 billion for the city’s subway and bus systems, which carry some 4 million riders daily.

Yellow taxis, green cabs and black cars will be charged $1.25 per trip into the central business district zone.

The MTA said congestion pricing will improve the environment and will raise $15 billion to improve mass transit. New Jersey officials are also suing the MTA over the proposed tolling plan.