Press Release Transportation

CBC Recommends Five Principles for Congestion Pricing

February 13, 2019

New York, NY - February 13, 2019 - The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) today released its five key principles for crafting an effective congestion pricing program.

As State leaders work to hammer out the specific details of a congestion pricing system, CBC recommends the following:

  1. Toll rates should serve the dual goals of raising revenue and reducing peak hour vehicle entries to the central business district. Tolls should vary by time of day and day of week to encourage off-peak travel, and impact of the program should be monitored for revenue generation and changes in peak hour vehicle volume;
  2. Exemptions or discounts to toll rates should be granted to emergency vehicles, vehicles already subject to a congestion charge-notably taxicabs and for-hire vehicles-and mass transit providers including non-MTA buses, but broader exemptions should be avoided;
  3. Toll revenues should be used primarily to support the MTA capital program, and a share of toll revenues should support City-owned bridges relied upon by toll payers to enter the congestion pricing zone;
  4. Installing and operating equipment required for the system should be the responsibility of the MTA and be implemented in collaboration with the City of New York; and
  5. Authorizing legislation should include provisions to facilitate speedy creation of the system.

"Without congestion pricing New York's mass transit system is likely to continue to decay, negatively affecting both quality of life and our economy," said Citizens Budget Commission President Andrew Rein. "Congestion pricing would not only raise needed resources for the MTA, but it would help reduce traffic congestion and the harmful effect of air pollution."