Soon, New York City will implement a first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program, known as the CBD Tolling Program. Drivers will be charged a toll to enter the Manhattan central business district (Manhattan below 60th Street), an area choked by congestion. Reducing traffic in this area will lead to safer streets, cleaner air, and better transit throughout the region.
Implementing congestion pricing will dramatically improve quality of life for New Yorkers. Fewer cars in the central business district will reduce emissions and help New York achieve its ambitious climate goals. Less stop-and-go traffic will also be safer for pedestrians and bikers. Drivers who pay the toll will spend less time sitting in traffic, and other vehicles — such as buses or emergency vehicles — will be able to move faster. The program will also raise revenue to fund $15 billion for critical transit projects, such as upgrading to the signaling system, accessibility improvements, and expanding access to the transit system.
Following a series of three public meetings, the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) produced its detailed report on November 30th, 2023. View the report here. The report provides information regarding the TMRB’s review and analysis for purposes of establishing its recommendations to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) Board for their rate making consideration. It includes recommended toll rates, credits, discounts, and exemptions.
How the Central Business District Tolling Program Will Work
The Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program will be the first congestion pricing program in the United States. The Environmental Assessment, which the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration required, looked at the environmental effects of the program. Congestion pricing has helped other cities around the world and we believe it will also help the people who visit, live, or work in the New York City metropolitan region. By reducing traffic and helping improve mass transit, the CBD Tolling Program will also make it faster to travel and improve air quality.
Vehicles that enter or remain in the Central Business District will be tolled. The toll will be paid using an E-ZPass. If you do not have an E-ZPass, toll bills will be mailed to the address of the registered vehicle owner and are paid using Tolls by Mail.
When and How Toll Amounts Will Be Decided
In April 2019, the state enacted the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act (the Act), which states that the MTA's Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) needs to design, develop, build, and run the Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program.
There are three ways that the tolls will be set:
1. The Act says the CBD Tolling Program must:
- Charge passenger vehicles only once each day for entering or remaining in the Central Business District
- Change the toll rates at set times or days; this is called variable tolling
- Allow residents of the CBD making less than $60,000 to get a New York State tax credit for CBD tolls paid
- Not toll qualifying authorized emergency vehicles and qualifying vehicles transporting people with disabilities
2. Commitments made in the FInal EA will be included:
- Taxis and FHVs will not be tolled more than once daily
- The overnight toll will be at or below 50% of the peak toll from at least 12-4am
- There will be a discount for frequent low-income drivers
3. A Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) will recommend toll rates to the MTA’s TBTA Board, which has final say on what the rates can be. The TMRB must think about many things before it can recommend toll rates, including:
- How traffic might move
- Air quality and pollution
- Effect on the public
The Act also says the TMRB will need to recommend a plan for credits, discounts and/or exemptions for:
- Tolls paid the same day on bridges and tunnels
- Some types of for-hire vehicles
Once the TMRB recommends the toll rates, TBTA would then follow its process for setting tolls, which includes a public hearing. That final decision on tolls would include:
- The toll for each type of vehicle
- How and when the tolls would change
- Any other credits, discounts and/or exemptions
Traffic Mobility Review Board
As provided in the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) Board establishes the TMRB and appoints its chair and members.
The TMRB was established by the TBTA Board on July 27, 2022 and now consists of the following members:
- Carl Weisbrod, Chair of the TMRB and former Chair of the City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning
- John Banks, President Emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York
- John Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor (appointed June 21, 2023)
- Elizabeth Velez, President and Principal of the Velez Organization
- Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City
The TMRB’s first meeting was on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. View a recording of the meeting, or see the presentation. Its second meeting was on Thursday, August 17, 2023. View a recording of the meeting, or see the presentation. The TMRB held its third meeting on Monday, October 2, 2023. View a recording of the meeting, or see the presentation.