🚗 NYC congestion pricing is scheduled to go into effect in 2024

💲 NJ commuters would pay thousands more under MTA plan

🔴 Gov. Phil Murphy is asking the Biden administration to block it

Using his strongest language to date, Gov. Phil Murphy condemned New York City's congestion pricing plan and asked the Federal Highway Administration to block it.

In a scathing 15-page letter to FHA Administrator Shailen Bhatt, Murphy assailed the environmental assessment done by New York City in connection with their congestion pricing plan and asked Bhatt to withhold a finding of "no significant impact."

If the plan is allowed to proceed, it could cost New Jersey commuters thousands of dollars more every year.

Congestion Pricing

While Murphy says he is "conceptually open" to congestion pricing when "traffic reduction is the primary goal," the governor claims the primary goal of the MTA plan is "revenue generation, not traffic reduction."

In asking the FHA to delay the implementation of the MTA plan, Murphy argued the environmental assessment presented by New York City officials was "fundamentally flawed" because it did not take into account the impact on 7 million New Jersey residents.

"Half the counties in the regional study area are located in New Jersey," Murphy wrote. He claims, however, that New York deliberately disregarded the "significant environmental and other harms to New Jersey residents."

Murphy also took issue with the fact that New York officials never consulted with any New Jersey agencies when looking at the scope and impact of their plan.

Neither NJ Transit nor the New Jersey Turnpike Authority were involved in any discussions with New York's MTA.

attachment-New York City (is) playing Russian roulette with their economy, and are willing to stick it to all of those hard-working commuters from Jersey

As a result, Murphy says neither agency was afforded the opportunity to fully gauge the financial impact of congestion pricing and its impact on turnpike traffic and NJT ridership.

The MTA did engage with both the Long Island and Metro-North railroads and even allocated money to each to blunt the financial impacts of increased equipment needs and labor costs.

Fare increases for NJ Transit would be likely, the governor has said, if the plan goes into effect.

Murphy and members of the New Jersey congressional delegation have been fighting congestion pricing since it was first announced by New York City officials.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, has been particularly vocal against the plan, calling it a "cash-grabbing $23-a-day Congestion Tax."

In January, the North Jersey Democrat announced he was sponsoring bipartisan legislation known as the Anti-Congestion Tax Act "to help ensure New Jersey and New York drivers who commute into New York City are not hit with New York and the MTA’s regressive, punitive $23/day Congestion Tax."

So far, there has been no public response from the MTA or the FHA to Gov. Murphy's letter.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM