US wants to revise New York’s congestion pricing plan

In March 2021, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said plans to use Pages to manage traffic in midtown Manhattan would undergo an expedited environmental review, after the Trump administration did not act on it.

“We submitted our plans to Washington Time in February, and in March the federal government came back with over 400 questions and areas where they want us to make adjustments,” the New York governor said Thursday. “It’s probably not going to happen now because we can’t get the necessary approvals from the federal government.”

New York wants to charge a variable daily page for vehicles entering or remaining in the “Central Business District”, an area stretching from 60th Street in midtown Manhattan to Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan.

FHWA Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack told reporters on Thursday that the agency was working to resolve the issues.

“We gave them our feedback several months ago. We’ve gotten a way forward or a resolution on almost all of them,” Ms Pollack said, saying the agency will work “to make that happen.” be done at any time of importance” to the state, the city, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates New York City’s subway system and buses, as well as its two commuter rail lines. .

The plan was first approved by state lawmakers in April 2019 and the initial project was scheduled to begin in January 2021.

“We need more people taking subways, trains, public transport in the city, and we need more people leaving their cars at home,” Hochul said Thursday. “I undertake to do so”.

The MTA would receive 80% of congestion charges after program operating costs, which would be used to improve the city’s subways and buses, and 10% each would go to commuter rail lines on the Long Island Rail Road and of the Metro North Railroad.

According to the MTA, the system would speed up traffic flow and reduce pollution, in addition to raising funds for public transport.

New York would become the first major American city to follow the example of London, which began charging an urban page on vehicles driving through the city center in 2003.

Officials said the annual pages, estimated at $1 billion, would fund $15 billion in new debt over four years to support public transit.

Ms. Hochul said during a governor’s debate on Tuesday that the federal government has put “roads in the way” and that “it’s going to happen over the next year, whatever the circumstances, but it’s not going to happen.” is not the right time”.

US Assistant Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg said on Thursday that the minister was working with New York: “We are very committed to helping them through the process.”

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