NYC Congestion Pricing and Tolls: What to Know and What’s Next

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New tolls to drive into the busiest parts of Manhattan — including $15 for most passenger cars — were officially approved on Wednesday by an 11-1 vote of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But New York City’s congestion pricing program, which is the first of its kind in the nation and expected to reduce traffic and raise $1 billion annually for public transit improvements, still faces challenges from five lawsuits brought by elected officials and residents in New York and New Jersey before it can begin in mid-June.

Multiple cars are stopped at a traffic light at a Manhattan intersection. A person responsible for controlling traffic stands nearby wearing a yellow reflective vest.
Low-income drivers who make less than $50,000 annually can apply to receive half off the daytime toll after their first 10 trips in a month. Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Nearly all the toll readers have been installed, and will automatically charge drivers for entering the designated congestion zone at 60th Street or below. There is no toll for leaving the zone or driving around in it. Through traffic on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and the West Side Highway will not be tolled.

Under the final tolling structure, which was based on recommendations by an independent advisory panel, 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. The toll will be $24 for small trucks and charter buses, and will rise to $36 for large trucks and tour buses. It will be $7.50 for motorcycles.

Those tolls will be discounted by 75 percent at night, dropping the cost for a passenger vehicle to $3.75.

Fares will go up by $1.25 for taxis and black car services, and by $2.50 for Uber and Lyft. Passengers will be responsible for paying the new fees, and they will be added to every ride that begins, ends or occurs within the congestion zone. There will be no nighttime discounts. (The new fees come on top of an existing congestion surcharge that was imposed on for-hire vehicles in 2019.)

Emergency vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances and police cars, as well as vehicles carrying people with disabilities, were exempted from the new tolls under the state’s congestion pricing legislation.

The final tolling program also includes exemptions for school buses with a contract with the city’s Department of Education and fewer than 5,000 specialized government vehicles, including garbage trucks and some city-owned vehicles used for work like sanitation inspections in the congestion zone (vehicles assigned to agency commissioners and elected officials are not exempt). M.T.A. and city officials will have to agree on which vehicles qualify.

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