July 14, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The MTA’s congestion pricing plan that will toll cars in busy areas in Manhattan will be delayed “roughly a year” due to a federal hold-up, an agency official announced Monday.
MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said congestion pricing — which will charge drivers a fee to enter Manhattan below 60th Street — will be held back because the Trump administration has tied the initiative up in bureaucracy.
“We’ve literally hired the consultants. We’ve designed the systems and the cameras and so on that are going to be implemented, but we just can’t move forward without the Trump Administration’s action,” Lieber said in a video interview with the Manhattan Institute.
The new tolls were slated to go into effect in January 2021.
The MTA must complete a federal environmental review process for the project to move ahead, but the Trump administration has yet to initiate the process or detail what is needed with it, Lieber said.
Lieber said that attempts to contact federal officials to begin the process have largely been ignored.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), a transit advocacy group, argues that the congestion pricing plan has been “intentionally held up” by the Trump administration.
“It is a tremendous blow to the MTA and to the New York City region, which relies on our public transit network to exist,” the advocacy organization said in a statement.
“It’s now even more clear that the best interest of New York City’s public health and economy is not a priority for the White House, and now millions of commuters will suffer unnecessarily as a result,” TSTC added.
The plan was approved by the state legislature in March 2019. However, the price of congestion tolls has yet to be determined.