NEW YORK CITY, New York: After a study released on Wednesday projected a 15 to 20 percent reduction in the number of cars entering Manhattan, New York City said it could introduce a daily traffic congestion charge of up to $23 late in 2023.
Under this plan, vehicles entering or remaining within the central business district, defined as between 60th Street in midtown Manhattan and Battery Park on Manhattan's southern tip, could be charged a daily variable toll by the city.
As the U.S. city with the most congested traffic, New York City would become the first major city to introduce a charge, after London, which began a similar scheme in 2003.
The plan was approved by New York lawmakers in 2019 and was originally meant to be implemented in 2021, but it was not carried out by the government of former President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, the Federal Highway Administration said it approved the required environmental assessment and will review public comments submitted by 9th September, but it did not give a timeline for its decision.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York said the fee could be implemented up to 10 months after approval is granted.
"Congestion pricing is good for the environment, good for public transit and good for New York and the region," said MTA CEO Janno Lieber, commenting on the plan.
During peak times, drivers could pay $9 to $23 to enter the city, while during the evenings, tolls could be as low as $5. Drivers could also apply existing bridge and tunnel tolls to congestion charges.