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New York City Weighs Vehicle Congestion Tax

New York City Weighs Vehicle Congestion Tax

New congestion pricing would assess tolls for vehicles driving downtown during weekday business hours

Author: FleetLogik/Wednesday, January 24, 2018/Categories: In the News

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Delivery in New York City has always been challenging and with shipment volumes continuing to increase, traffic congestion is a real and present concern.     A new plan under review will charge premiums for vehicles entering the most congested parts of downtown. Partly to force more efficiency from commercial vehicle operators and partly to subsidize mass transit improvements. 

New congestion pricing would assess tolls for vehicles driving south of 60th Street during weekday business hours. Cars would be charged $11.52, commercial vehicles and trucks would be charged $25.34, and taxis and ride sharing services would be charged $2 to $5 per trip.  A 100 vehicle commercial fleet operating in and out of Manhattan could see an operating cost increase of $1M or more annually.

The congestion pricing may be a way to address two of New York’s more challenging issues: finding ways to subsidize New York mass transit and ease the increasingly unmanageable traffic on Manhattan’s busiest streets.

The City’s task force’s estimates run as high as $1.5 billion a year in additional revenue — roughly 10 percent of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s operating budget. But much will depend on how the fees are structured, including in which hours and on which days they’re imposed.

The panel said it believes trucks are a significant contributor to congestion and also cited emissions concerns as it recommended that zone pricing begin first with a congestion fee only on commercial vehicles.  The report cited truck volumes into NYC are forecasted to increase 46% as result of ecommerce through 2040, which will increase congestion in the city. 

The plan also calls for improving enforcement of traffic laws within the zone. “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.”

The idea is not new, London, Stockholm and Singapore have implemented such taxes and many other cities have various incentives to use alternate forms of transit within inner-city operations.     

 

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