New York City to Follow London, Milan, Singapore, and Stockholm with Congestion Pricing

By Anna Breuer on 31 March 2019
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New York City will join the ranks of London, Milan, Singapore, and Stockholm when it adds congestion pricing for the busiest parts of Manhattan.

The city, which is ringed by some of the most expensive toll roads and bridges in the country, will add another layer of toll for motorists who come to the city for work or entertainment.

Driving in Manhattan has slowed to a glacial pace over the past decade. The average speed in Manhattan south of 60th Street has plummeted from 9.1 mph (14.6 km/h) in 2010 to 7.1 mph (11.2 km/h) in 2017, while speeds in midtown have fallen from 6.4 mph (10.2 km/h) to 5 mph (8 km/h) over the same period, according to a report issued by the city’s Department oF Transportation.

“You can’t even drive in Manhattan,“ said Governor Andrew Cuomo last week on a public radio broadcast.

The new plan is part of the $175 billion budget that the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo agreed to early Sunday. The budget calls for a ban on plastic shopping bags and the so-called pied-à-terre tax on second homes valued at $5 million or more.

The city’s congestion-pricing plan will be the first in the United States, and will impact vehicles traveling south of  60th Street. The revenue from the toll will be channeled to the city’s mass transit systems including subways and commuter rail systems such as the Long Island Rail Road. The toll, which has yet to be determined, is expected to range between $10 to $12 for passenger cars and $25 for trucks. There will likely be variations based on time of day and the day of the week.

Singapore was the first to implement congestion pricing, in 1975, with the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme, followed by Rome in 2001, London in 2003, Stockholm in 2006, Milan in 2008, and Gothenburg in 2013.

Congestion pricing for New York has been contemplated for over a decade since it was proposed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, albeit without success.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)