New York governor delays congestion pricing plan

The first-in-the-nation “congestion pricing” system that would charge drivers a pricey toll to enter Manhattan is now on pause indefinitely, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Wednesday.

Hochul, who had previously supported the plan, said in remarks Wednesday that the proposed congestion pricing plan “risks too many unintended consequences for New Yorkers at this time.” She did not give a date for when, if ever, the system will be implemented.

“Let’s be real: a $15 charge may not mean a lot to someone who has the means, but it can break the budget of a working- or middle-class household. It puts the squeeze on the very people who make this City go: the teachers, first responders, small business workers, bodega owners,” she said.

“And given these financial pressures, I cannot add another burden to working- and middle-class New Yorkers — or create another obstacle to continued recovery,” she added.

She said she directed the Metropolitan Transit Authority to “indefinitely pause the program.”

The plan, which was slated to kick off in just a few weeks, would have charged those entering Manhattan below 60th Street with passenger vehicles at least $15. Larger vehicles would be charged even more under the system.

The fee would have been on top of the already existing tolls to enter New York City.

The congested pricing system was approved by the Biden administration last year. The plan aimed to reduce traffic in the heart of Manhattan, where thousands of people commute to work each day.

Commuters and New Jersey officials railed against the plan, saying it would disproportionately hurt residents of the Garden State with high prices and redirecting traffic elsewhere. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) sued the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration over the system last year.

Murphy celebrated the delay of the plan and thanked Hochul for her decision in a statement.

“Although we have had a difference of opinion with our colleagues in New York on congestion pricing implementation, we have always had a shared vision for growing our regional economy, investing in infrastructure, protecting our environment, and creating good-paying jobs on both sides of the Hudson River,” Murphy said.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.