A plan to charge drivers in New York City US, for travelling to midtown Manhattan has received initial approval from the metropolitan transportation authority (MTA).
The MTA's board of directors voted nine to one on Wednesday to allow the tolling programme to proceed. The agency, which operates the city's subways, buses and commuter trains, will plan the new implementation of 'congestion pricing'.
The MTA's initial approval will allow this organisation to start the process of seeking public opinion on the tolling structure. If the process is completed as desired, motorists are expected to start paying the toll in May or June.
If the application is implemented, passenger cars will pay $15 during peak periods, while trucks will pay between $24 and $36. This will be a first in the US.
The plan also includes a 25 per cent increase in tolls on traffic alert days such as the holiday season and the United Nations General Assembly.
The toll will not apply to taxi drivers and rental cars. Instead, passengers will be charged $1.25 per journey for taxis and $2.50 for ridesharing systems such as Uber or Lyft.
On the other hand, a lawsuit filed in New Jersey may delay implementation. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has filed a lawsuit asking the court to force the MTA to undergo a longer environmental analysis.
WILL BRING IN 1 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
Officials estimate that congestion pricing will generate $1 billion a year in revenue. In addition, the MTA will be able to borrow $ 15 billion thanks to this revenue.
MTA board member Neal Zuckerman, who chairs the finance committee, said the practice provides the MTA, which already has $47 billion in outstanding debt, with a new source of revenue to fund necessary infrastructure needs.