Neighborhood Intel

MTA approves congestion pricing in NYC

  • The move allows the MTA to charge drivers a $15 daytime toll to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street
  • The ultimate fate of congestion pricing will depend on the outcome of federal lawsuits
Celia Young Headshot
By Celia Young  |
March 27, 2024 - 3:45PM
An older man at a desk in the MTA offices near a younger woman.

Janno Lieber, MTA CEO, and Paige Graves, MTA General Counsel, at the vote on Wednesday.

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA

If you live below 60th Street in Manhattan and regularly joust for street parking, or fork over hundreds of dollars a month for a garage, you should expect an additional toll this summer.

The MTA board voted 11-1 on Wednesday to approve New York City’s congestion pricing plan, which allows the MTA to charge drivers $15 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street during the day.

The vote comes five years after congestion pricing—aimed at reducing traffic and exhaust in Manhattan and funding $15 billion in mass transit improvements—was approved by the state legislature in 2019, Gothamist reported.

“Today’s vote is one of the most significant the board has ever undertaken, and the MTA is ready,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement. “There’s more to come with the funds raised from congestion pricing—more accessible stations, modernized subway signals, and new expansion projects.”

Manhattan drivers should expect tolls

Under the plan, drivers should expect new tolls as early as June, Gothamist reported.

Passenger vehicles and small vans will pay a $15 dollar toll to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street in Manhattan between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Overnight, those tolls drop to $3.75, according to the MTA.

Cars driving on the West Side Highway and FDR drive are exempt from the toll. 

The fees are higher for trucks and buses, at $24 to $36 during the day, and at $6 or $9 at night. But transit buses, emergency vehicles, and government vehicles are exempt, according to the MTA. 

All of these tolls are 50 percent higher for drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass, so if you expect to do a lot of commuting by car, you might want to sign up.

What to know about exemptions and discounts

Drivers who make less than $50,000 or who use certain government benefits can apply for discounts, and those entering from the Holland, Battery, Lincoln, and Queens-Midtown tunnels will pay reduced tolls because they’ve already paid fees at those bridges, according to the MTA. 

Residents of the toll zone whose households make less than $60,000 per year can qualify for a tax credit in the amount of the tolls they have paid, though details on claiming those credits are scant. Those with disabilities will also be able to apply for an exemption, according to the MTA.

Taxi drivers are also exempt from the daily toll, though app-based vehicles would be expected to pay $2.50, according to the MTA. 

Lawsuits still threaten congestion pricing

There are at least four lawsuits that could put the breaks on congestion pricing, New York 1 reported. 

One from New Jersey argues that the plan has significant environmental impacts, and the suit could trigger another environmental impact review by the federal government. (The MTA, state, and city officials did an environmental assessment of the plan that found it had no significant impacts, and it scored federal approval last year). Oral arguments in that case are set for April 4, NY1 reported. 

Some Manhattan residents raise objections

Corinne Arnold and Will Kwan, both board members of co-ops located in the toll zone, raised concerns that the pricing plan would lead to lower revenues by retailers and parking garages within the zone and add an extra expense for commuters living below 60th street but driving to work outside of it. (Both previously wrote a column for Brick Underground, FYI).

“Our overarching concern is that there was not enough research done, that it is not ready, and that co-ops and condos were not involved,” Arnold says.

The two circulated a petition, shared by the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums, requesting that the MTA delay congestion pricing plan for six months to determine how it will impact the zone’s economy. 


Celia Young Headshot

Celia Young

Senior Writer

Celia Young is a senior writer at Brick Underground where she covers New York City residential real estate. She graduated from Brandeis University and previously covered local business at the Milwaukee Business Journal, entertainment at Madison Magazine, and commercial real estate at Commercial Observer. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

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