NYC congestion pricing: Officials continue to weigh toll amounts

We know congestion pricing is coming, but the MTA still doesn't know what that price will be. 

"Our goal is to be as fair as possible," said Carl Weisbrod, the chair of the Traffic Mobility Review Board. "And the fairest thing we can do is keep the base toll as low as we possibly can." 

Drivers rallied Thursday, doubtful the MTA has their best interest at heart, as transit staff spent the day explaining to City Council how it's putting the plan into play, and the Traffic Mobility Review Board mulled over how much to charge each type of driver. 

Cameras hang from at least 20 gantries on the city's west and east sides, with next spring still the target date to start the toll, that could range anywhere from $9-$23, for anyone trying to drive into the Central Business District south of 60th Street. 


NYC's congestion pricing plan: What you need to know

MTA officials answered questions on how the plan to charge drivers who enter Manhattan south of 60th Street will be implemented.

"The first time the vehicle is seen it would be identified," said Dr. Allison L.C. de Cerreno, the COO of MTA Bridges and Tunnels. "If it stays on the excluded roadways, it would not receive a charge. If, however, it gets to that first spot and it should be 10, 12 minutes and we haven't seen that vehicle at that point there would be a toll." 

But determining if drivers who already pay tolls to come into the city should get crossing credits, or if large trucks should pay more than cars, or if taxis should be allowed to pass the cost onto the customers, or if low-income drivers should get a discount – that is still up in the air, and people are already preparing to claim that the tolling structure is unfair. 

"The more crossing credits we give, the greater the crossing credit, the more the toll goes up for everybody," said Weisbrod. "And those are the tension we really have to deal with." 

The board is trying to make the toll affordable and fair, but also high enough to discourage drivers from driving into the Central Business District, and high enough to fund new MTA projects. 

It's confident it will have prices in place by its next hearing, which FOX 5 New York was told will be in the near future.