NYC Congestion Fee Approved – What You Need to Know

by SharonKurheg

The island of Manhattan has been overcrowded with cars for decades. Although some people are willing and able to use mass transit, many others drive into the city to get their business done. Deliveries, people who work in Manhattan, taxis, ride sharers, etc., all contribute to the near-continuous traffic jams and resulting air and noise pollution throughout most of the borough.

For the past several years, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has been playing with the idea of charging an extra fee to enter Manhattan on top of the regular tolls. They hope that this so-called “congestion pricing” would be a deterrent to people driving into the city, and instead using mass transit.

It took several years of planning, as well as some “town hall” type meetings, but as of this past Wednesday, the MTA has now made its decision, and NYC’s congestion pricing plan got its final approval.

Why have congestion pricing? What is it?

From CBS News:

Congestion pricing is a fee to enter Manhattan’s Central Business District. It’s an effort by the MTA both to ease traffic congestion and raise much-needed funds to support mass transit. New York City’s subway system is more than 100 years old and the MTA is hoping that by raising funds from congestion pricing, it will enable them to pursue important projects like revamping the subway signal system, which they believe will improve train service during rush hour and make trains less crowded by running trains closer together. Other high-cost projects the MTA is eyeing include electrifying the bus system, extending the Second Avenue subway and build a new light rail line called BQX for Brooklyn and Queens residents.

The MTA estimates that congestion pricing will lower traffic in Manhattan by roughly 17%.

Where will the congestion pricing zone be?

The congestion pricing zone will be the entirety of southern Manhattan, from 60th St. to the north, all the way down to the Staten Island Ferry terminal to the south

a map of the areaAll bridges and tunnels below 60th Street would be impacted:

  • Lincoln Tunnel
  • Holland Tunnel
  • Hugh Carey Tunnel
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Queens-Midtown Tunnel
  • Queensboro Bridge

The tolls would be enforced via license plate scanners.

How much will congestion pricing be?

  • Most passenger vehicles will be charged $15 a day from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
  • $24 for small trucks and charter buses
  • $36 for large trucks and tour buses
  • $7.50 for motorcycles

All of these tolls will be decreased by 75% at nighttime.

Of particular interest to tourists who are looking for a ride into the city:

  • Fares will go up by $1.25 for taxis and black car services
  • Fares will be $2.50 for Uber and Lyft

Passengers will be responsible for paying the new fees, which will be added to every ride that begins, ends, or occurs within the congestion zone. There will be no nighttime discounts for taxis or ride-sharing.

How will this affect tourists/visitors to NYC?

If you’re staying in Manhattan and use a taxi or Uber to get to/from the airport, you’ll have to pay an extra fee of $1.25 or $2.50, respectively.

If you’re staying in the NY metropolitan area, rent a car and drive into Manhattan (or rent a car in Manhattan, leave the borough and then return to it), you’ll pay an extra $15 per day, every day you enter the borough, if you do so during peak times.

When will congestion pricing begin?

The MTA hopes to begin the program this June. However, it has to wallow through a few lawsuits regarding the upcoming change, so it may well be delayed.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Christian March 29, 2024 - 12:54 pm

Unlike you I’m not an expert on New York and as such I think that for residents of the area this makes sense. Something has to be done about traffic, right? From a tourist perspective I’m not so sure. I think that having a direct rail link to LGA and JFK before implementing this surcharge would be the way to go. Yes, I know that there’s currently a multi step process to get from New York airports to lower Manhattan but a direct no-change rail line is badly needed. A lot of times people have substantial luggage, children, elderly people, etc. and changing transportation is less viable. Put in a direct rail link and more people will migrate to it anyway to avoid traffic and expense.

GUWonder March 29, 2024 - 2:40 pm

The $15 “congestion” fee for personal car driving is a daily maximum no matter how many times going into and out of the “congestion” zone in Manhattan.

SharonKurheg March 29, 2024 - 7:10 pm

Thank-you. Updated.

Jason S March 29, 2024 - 3:41 pm

What about those who live in Manhattan and have a car registered to their home there?

Robert Imperato March 29, 2024 - 5:21 pm

You can only be charged one $15 congestion fee even if you leave and come back into the zone, please correct

SharonKurheg March 29, 2024 - 7:11 pm

Thanks. I updated it.


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