The ambitious congestion pricing plan initially backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo is not part of the state budget agreement made on Friday, the New York Times reports. It’s not yet clear if or when congestion pricing will become a reality in New York.
What did pass however was a surcharge on for-hire vehicles traveling south of 96th Street in Manhattan; With this latest agreement a $2.50 surcharge will be levied on yellow cabs, and a $2.75 fee for other services like Lyft and Uber. Ride-sharing services provided by these same companies will have to incur a 75-cent fee.
Last fall, Governor Cuomo had announced a Fix NYC panel that would study the city’s transit woes and provide guidelines for how to best overcome the ongoing problems. The panel released its report late last year, and recommended a phased approach to congestion pricing, which would first include repairing public transit infrastructure and then levying a $11.52 fee on personal vehicles and $25.34 on trucks traveling south of 60th Street and north of Battery Park during peak hours (between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
While the overall congestion pricing plan failed to pass, the Cuomo administration still hailed the for-hire vehicle surcharge a first step in the right direction. The congestion pricing plan was largely meant to fund the city’s ailing public transit system, and this new surcharge too will go to the MTA to speed up repairs.
Those in favor of congestion pricing told the Times that they would continue fighting for its approval, and that the budget agreement wasn’t the final stop for the plan.