New York City makes history as first American city to charge congestion toll with $15 fee to enter Manhattan



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New York is on track to become the first U.S. city with congestion tolls on drivers entering its downtown after transit officials approved a $15 fee for most motorists headed into part of Manhattan.

Members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Wednesday voted to greenlight the congestion pricing plan, expected to go into effect in June. The board approved only minor changes to a plan presented to the public months ago, and brushed off requests for exceptions by dozens of groups of commuters.

The vote authorizes a $15 toll on most commuter passenger vehicles that drive into Manhattan south of 60th Street, a zone that’s south of Central Park, during daytime hours. Tolls are higher for larger vehicles, and lower for late-night entries into the city, as well as for motorcycles.

Supporters of the new tolls say it will push more people to use public transport, reduce congestion to speed up public buses and emergency vehicles, reduce pollution, and raise money needed to improve the subway system.

The state Legislature approved the tolls in 2019, mandating that it should raise $1 billion per year to fund public subway and bus systems for the city’s 4 million daily riders. The pandemic and lack of federal regulation stalled the project.

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