New York City has become the first U.S. city to pass what is known as congestion pricing – tolls on vehicles entering the city during peak traffic hours. The fees are part of a state budget agreed to by the state legislature and New York State’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo last week.
Congestion pricing has been in effect in several cities around the globe, including London and Singapore, but had yet to make its way Stateside. The plan had been debated in New York for years, and under the new budget would not go into effect until 2021.
The revenue raised through the plan will be put toward much needed repairs to the city’s public transportation system, specifically the New York City subway, officials say.
Motorists entering Manhattan south of 60th Street during peak traffic hours would pay additional fees under the plan. The fees would be less during off-peak hours and weekends. Motorists who paid tolls on bridges or tunnels to enter Manhattan would receive a credit toward the congestion fees, and drivers who live within the congestion zone would not pay when they leave the zone, but would pay upon their return.
The exact costs have to be determined, but a past state task force on congestion pricing suggested fees of about $11 for cars and $25 for trucks.
The State’s goal is to raise $1 billion a year, which could then be used to secure $15 billion in bonds for repairs to mass transit systems.
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