Driving in New York may be (even more) expensive soon

March 31, 2019

Driving in the Big Apple could take a big bite out of wallets soon.

On Monday, the state Legislature could be offered a budget proposal that would include congestion charges for driving in the most populous city in the U.S.

The fees, which could cost between $12 and $14 for passenger vehicles and more than $20 for commercial trucks, would be charged to drivers entering lower Manhattan during peak hours on weekdays. The fees could be lower on weekends and off-peak hours.

The congestion charges may start as early as 2021.

The New York Times reported last week that the fees could raise up to $1 billion for public-transit projects that are long overdue for the city, including subway maintenance and new lines. The fees also could be lower for lower-income drivers, disabled riders using ride-sharing services, or other cases.

Drivers entering the city from toll tunnels or the Henry Hudson Bridge would receive a credit toward the congestion charge, and drivers crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and traveling north of 60th Street wouldn't be charged.

New York would be the first city in the U.S. to charge a congestion fee. Other cities around the world, including London, Singapore, and Stockholm also charge drivers in certain parts of those cities, which has not only raised money for infrastructure but also reduced emissions in those cities. In 2003, when London implemented its congestion charge, traffic declined 18 percent and emissions were reduced by 16 percent, according to a UN study.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story misstated the area that drivers could be charged. The proposed congestion fees would apply to lower Manhattan neighborhoods and streets.

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