Congestion toll on NJ drivers? Murphy wants Big Apple to give us a bite
Details are still sketchy but New York lawmakers have approved a plan to implement “congestion pricing” for cars and trucks going into Manhattan south of 60th Street.
It could mean drivers from Jersey heading into Midtown would end up paying an additional $15 to $25 starting in 2021.
Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t like the idea and the impact it will have on motorists traveling into the Big Apple from the Garden State, but he’s particularly miffed about plans to automatically charge drivers the congestion pricing fee who are heading into New York via the George Washington Bridge, which comes into the city about a hundred blocks north of Midtown.
“Double-tolling those commuters would make this plan neither fair nor equitable, and it could make it counterproductive," Murphy said Thursday.
He said angry GWB drivers could wind up going into the city via the Holland or Lincoln tunnels, which will increase traffic and pollution at those crossings.
“Or they’ll be pushed to the already stretched NJ Transit or PATH systems," he said.
“The solution cannot be one with the unintended consequences of making traffic worse, and increasing reliance on regional rail partners without they’re receiving additional support.”
Murphy wants New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give NJ Transit some of the congestion pricing money that’s collected.
“It all comes down to a basic issue of fairness and equitable treatment for all commuters," Murphy said.
Murphy expressed hope that New Jersey commuters won’t get completely shafted by the congested pricing plan as more details are announced in the coming weeks and months.
“We have worked very well with Gov. Cuomo on regional issues in the past, through the Port Authority, through the Gateway Corporation. I’m hopeful we can work together on a truly regional solution," he said.
Murphy said senior advisors from New Jersey and New York have met and have had productive preliminary discussions.
When Murphy was asked Thursday about Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s suggestion that New Jersey reciprocates with its own tax on New York commuters, the governor chuckled.
“First of all, I love the Jersey attitude. I love the fact that he said that,” he said. “I would hope we could find a solution which is somewhere in the common ground, but I love his attitude.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com