Congestion pricing may be part of delivering in New York City in the future, if the state follows through on a new transportation report recommendation.
On Jan. 18, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the release of a transportation report looking at ways to improve New York City's transportation system. The report, released by the Fix NYC advisory panel, recommended implementing a zone congestion pricing system in the Central Business District of New York City.
The plan would involve using electronic tolling to charge drivers entering parts of the city during peak times. If the proposal is approved by state lawmakers, tolling would take effect from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays below 60th Street for a total of $11.52 a day.
Trucks would pay even more: $25.34.
The panel said it believes trucks are a significant contributor to congestion in the CBD and also cited emissions concerns as it recommended that zone pricing begin with a congestion fee only on trucks.
The governor stopped short of fully endorsing the proposal's details, but he said it's clear something must be done to address traffic and raise money for a subway system beset by breakdowns and delays.
"Traffic congestion in Manhattan has long been a defining feature of our city, but over the past few years, the gridlock caused by congestion has become more impactful on daily life. The periods of time during which the Central Business District seems to grind to a halt last longer and occur more frequently throughout the day," noted the authors of the report.
Truck volumes into NYC are increasing, fueled by the rise of e-commerce, the panel reported. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council is forecasting a 46% rise in freight tonnage through 2040, which will increase congestion in the CBD caused by additional truck deliveries and through trips.
The plan also calls for improving enforcement of traffic laws within the CBD. “Throughout the day, vehicles clog intersections by ‘blocking the box,’ illegally weaving in and out of designated bus lanes to make pickups and drop offs, and parking illegally in travel lanes and at the curb," says the report. "All of these actions restrict the free flow of traffic and prevent responsible use of curbside space for deliveries.”