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New York City’s congestion pricing plan, which could cost New Jersey commuters and businesses thousands of dollars more every year to enter Manhattan’s central business district, has received the go-ahead from the federal government. 

If implemented in the spring of 2024, the plan could cost drivers entering Manhattan south of 60th Street $23 roundtrip each weekday during rush hour and $17 during off-peak hours on top of the high tolls they already pay to use the bridges and tunnels that connect to New York. 

New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will use the estimated $1 billion generated by congestion pricing tolls for mass transit improvements.  

New Jersey officials are opposed to congestion pricing because of the impact it will have on Garden State commuters and small businesses that make pickups or deliveries in Manhattan. 

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and New Jersey Congressmen Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell on Monday issued a joint statement denouncing the Federal Highway Administration’s decision to allow to allow the MTA’s congestion pricing plan to move forward without requiring a more comprehensive environmental study.  

“This is nothing more than a cash grab to fund the MTA,” the lawmakers said. “There is no excuse for FHWA and the Department of Transportation’s failure to require New York to meaningfully engage with stakeholders across New Jersey and to not adequately consult the New Jersey congressional delegation and other elected officials.” 

The lawmakers said the congestion pricing plan would not only impact New Jersey small businesses and families, it would also increase air pollution in North Jersey towns because of automobile and truck traffic diverted from Manhattan into New Jersey. 

“By the MTAs own admission in their report the congestion tax plan would increase air pollution in New Jersey this year and until 2045,” the federal lawmakers said. 

New York, however, is undeterred by the complaints from New Jersey. 

“Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in our crowded downtown, improve air quality and provide critical resources to the M.T.A.,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “With the green light from the federal government, we look forward to moving ahead with the implementation of this program.”