Congestion Pricing

2008 NYC Congestion Pricing Plan

The NYC congestion pricing plan recommended by a state commission in 2008 would have charged a once-daily fee of $8, minus tolls, to drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street.

NYC Metropolitan Area Fact Sheets on Congestion Pricing - The vast majority of workers in the NYC metropolitan area do not drive alone into central Manhattan and would be unaffected by a congestion pricing fee. (TSTC and Pratt Center fact sheets)

The NYS DOT Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission’s final recommendation in favor of congestion pricing.

Quinnipiac Poll Finds NYC Support for Congestion Pricing [Jan. 2008]

Growth or Gridlock? The Economic Case for Traffic Relief and Transit Improvement for a Greater New York (a report by the NYC Partnership)

Necessity or Choice: Why People Drive in Manhattan (report by Schaller Consulting)

Congestion pricing, or value pricing, uses off-peak toll discounts and comparatively higher peak tolls to urge drivers to drive at less congested periods or use public transportation. This toll variable encourages a shift in driver behavior that yields time and money savings along with reduced pollution from fewer vehicles idling in gridlock.

The most celebrated and successful example of road pricing today is central London, where drivers pay a fee for entering the “congestion charging” zone.  Since the charge was introduced in February 2003, traffic there has fallen dramatically, and bus speeds and ridership, as well as bicycle commuting, have shot upwards.  Revenue from the charge has been used to augment bus service and develop better pedestrian spaces in the central city.

The Campaign’s advocacy has led to the Port Authority and NJ Turnpike Authority implementing higher peak fares on roads and Hudson River crossings. The Campaign, along with a coalition of environmental, business, civic, labor, public health, and community organizations known together as the Campaign for New York’s Future, elevated congestion pricing in New York City as an effective measure to reduce traffic while raising dedicated revenue for the region’s transit system.

Though the measure has not yet been implemented, it remains a viable option for dealing with NYC traffic gridlock and an underfunded transit system while delivering benefits to drivers, transit users, and businesses.

 

Current Initiatives

Connecticut Tolling

Connecticut removed all tolls in the 1980s after a series of high-profile accidents at toll plazas. But with high-speed, plaza-free tolling increasingly standard, congestion worsening, and the need to invest in the state's road and transit infrastructure becoming ever clearer, it's looking more likely that tolls will return to the Nutmeg State. In 2009, the Transportation Strategy Board finished a study of various forms of tolling and congestion pricing, including high-occupancy toll lanes, a vehicle miles traveled tax, border tolls, and more. Connecticut legislators have expressed interest in using tolls as a new source of revenue, but seem noncommital on using them for congestion relief.

 

» View all Managing Congestion campaigns.