MTA's new congestion pricing plan could cost drivers entering lower Manhattan $23 in tolls
The MTA has unveiled its Environment Assessment of its congestion pricing plan.
The plan means anyone entering lower Manhattan at any of the selected locations will need to pay a toll.
The result of the assessment is the MTA says congestion in the city would decrease by 15.4%, it will reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality and bus service. The MTA says the plan will also benefit the Long Island Rail Road by encouraging more motorists to use public transportation.
Some Long Islanders say they will now take the train to the city more often, while others say they feel it is too unsafe.
Under the plan, vehicles traveling south of 60th Street in Manhattan would have to pay the new toll. It will cost $9 to $23 in tolls based on the various scenarios - including peak fare and location.
For business owners who have to commute into New York City, it's another expense.
Sharon Hershkowitz, who owns Balloon Saloon, says she doesn't know how she's going to manage another tax on her small business, which has offices in Baldwin and Tribeca.
"Congestion price really isn't fair for any small business - especially a small business that makes deliveries," Hershkowitz says. "How are we going to be able to absorb a $23 pricing for tolls if we go in and out of the city?"
She says her business delivers party arrangements throughout the city and that the higher tolls are just another punch in the gut to small businesses struggling to come back from the pandemic.
Hershkowitz says the consumer will have to pay for all the price increases.
The final tolls will be set following a review process, which begins this month for a series of public hearings.
The timeline for this to take effect is set for late 2023.