New Jersey claims that its citizens and towns will shoulder the burden without benefiting from New York’s plan to impose high tolls on drivers entering the busiest areas of Manhattan and has launched a court lawsuit to halt it.
The proposals were revealed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday. The Federal Highway Administration is being sued over the approval of the plan last month, which the suit argues was “misguided” and in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.
Additionally, New Jersey wants the plan’s environmental analysis to be more thorough.
According to New York City officials, the groundbreaking initiative is a component of efforts to lessen traffic, enhance air quality, and raise money for the city’s public transportation system.
To avoid paying higher tolls, commuters would instead seek out alternative routes, according to Murphy, which would increase traffic and pollution.
According to Murphy, “The FHA’s) conclusion that the MTA congestion pricing program will not have any substantial impacts is incorrect. Additionally, the Democratic governor referred to the tolls as “anti-environmental, anti-commuter, and anti-business.
Although the federal Department of Transportation declined to comment on the complaint, the MTA referred to it as “baseless.
The 4,000-page Environmental Assessment, which was completed by the MTA, New York State DOT, and New York City DOT, “was supervised at every stage and specifically approved by the Biden administration,” according to John J. McCarthy, the MTA’s director of external relations.
The MTA statement also said the review covered “every conceivable potential traffic, air quality, social, and economic effect” and addressed more than 80,000 comments and submissions.
Many of the bridges and tunnels that connect commuters across the Hudson, East, and Harlem Rivers already have significant tolls that those traveling into Manhattan must pay.
In addition to those current fees, there would also be additional tolls for the southern half of Manhattan.
Drivers of car services and cabs have criticized the proposal, claiming that it will increase the cost of fares.
The additional $1 billion in yearly revenue from the increased tolls is anticipated to be utilized to upgrade the MTA’s commuter rail, bus, and subway systems.
Congestion pricing was conceptually approved by the state Legislature back in 2019, but the project was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and a lack of direction from federal authorities.