Everything you need to know about New York congestion pricing

July 5, 2021

New York is the first city to introduce the congestion pricing plan in the US. While we’re getting closer to this new toll becoming a reality, there’s a lot you need to know as a driver.

In this article, we’ll cover all the questions you hesitated to ask: from pricing estimates to the proposed NYC congestion map.

How will this work?

First things first – what is this New York congestion tax, and why are we even talking about this?

The idea behind the congestion pricing plan is to cut down on the traffic in the most popular area of the city. To do that, city authorities plan to charge a fee for traveling through the areas that are most crowded with vehicles. In New York, it’s a pretty big area -  everything south of Central Park in Manhattan.

Congestion pricing works like any other toll - you pay a fee for entering the area and traveling through the specified congestion zone. Typically, you can pay using a transponder, mobile tolling app, or by mail.

What areas are included?

The tolls will be installed from south of 60th Street in Midtown to Battery Park. You can refer back to this map in the future as a cheat sheet, as it’s an already approved map.

Credits: rpa.org

City officials think that the new Manhattan congestion pricing plan will not only help cut down the traffic and pollution, but also boost the growth of public transportation.

Do we already know the average toll charge?

Considering how big the city is, MTA plans to gain more than $15 billion from the New York City congestion pricing plan. This money will be used to enhance the quality of roads and public transportation services.

Now let’s talk numbers. The congestion tax in NYC will depend on the vehicle you drive:

Cars: ~$12-$15
Trucks: ~$25

But the pricing will most likely vary based on the time of the day (meaning the fee will be higher during the busiest hours.)

What about discounts?

The new congestion toll in New York City will definitely have discounts for several groups of drivers. Among them:

- Those who make less than $60,000 a year won’t have to pay the congestion charge in New York

- Those who live in the congestion zone

The question still remains if drivers from New Jersey will be granted any exceptions as well. It’s estimated that New Jersey drivers would pay around $3,000 annually because of the new congestion pricing rules in Manhattan. No final decision has been made yet.

When will this happen?

While there were many hurdles to overcome with the New York congestion pricing plan, the latest press releases state that MTA aims to launch the congestion pricing program  in New York City in the first quarter of 2022.