For years, New York City has discussed implementing a congestion pricing plan that would charge drivers coming into the Big Apple below 61st Street in Manhattan.

Two weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation gave New York the go-ahead for a federally required environmental assessment to move the project forward.

Now, Gov. Phil Murphy is vowing to fight the $13 congestion plan that could wind up costing New Jersey drivers going into the city via the George Washington Bridge an extra $3,000 a year in tolls.

“Any scheme that discriminates against New Jersey commuters will not be supported by me or by our administration,” he said. “If New Jersey’s folks are paying into this a lot of money, we deserve to get a fair amount out.”

New York officials have estimated a congesting pricing program that would charge drivers extra coming into Manhattan over the GWB could raise about $1 billion annually, money that would be used to overhaul and modernize the New York subway system and pay for a new fleet of buses.

Murphy said discussions have taken place with the Cuomo administration on several occasions about the issue.

“I’ve not spoken to him personally about it of late but that’s something we’re going to be vigilant on,” he said. “God willing, we get to a peaceful resolution because in many respects, as one side of the Hudson goes, the other side goes.”

In the past there has been discussion about charging New York drivers who come into New Jersey a similar surcharge if congestion pricing goes into effect.

U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. 9th District, have indicated they are calling on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to put a freeze on the plan. During a news conference a few days ago, Gottheimer called congestion pricing a “sick joke.”

The plan calls for drivers who enter Manhattan over the GWB to pay a $13 surcharge.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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