CBDTP: Frequently Asked Questions

About the Program

What is the Central Business District Tolling Program?

The Central Business District Tolling Program, or Congestion Pricing, is the nation's first comprehensive initiative to reduce traffic congestion and generate revenue for much-needed transportation improvements that will keep the New York City metropolitan region moving. Vehicles will be tolled for entering the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD). 

Why is the MTA implementing Congestion Pricing now?

Congestion pricing is the law of the State of New York. In April 2019, the New York State Legislature passed the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act, directing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) to develop and run the program in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of Transportation. 

Why was the Congestion Pricing law passed? Why is it needed?

The Manhattan Central Business District is one of the most congested areas in the nation. Traffic burdens everyone. It jeopardizes the economic strength of the region. It increases commute times, lessens worker productivity, raises the cost of deliveries and the overall cost of doing business, and delays emergency vehicles responding to situations where every second matters. 

 

Congestion pricing will reduce traffic and its associated societal costs, charging drivers who enter the CBD. The revenue generated will be used to improve New York's transit system. Reducing vehicle congestion in the Manhattan CBD will benefit all drivers traveling to and near the area, with travel-time savings, improved travel-time reliability, reduced vehicle operating costs, and improved safety for all road users. CBDTP is a win for businesses, too: With less congestion and improved speeds, drivers can reach their customers more quickly and deliveries will be more efficient. Bus riders will benefit from faster and more reliable service. Reduced regional air pollution will provide an important benefit to all residents of the region, particularly for environmental justice populations who experience adverse health effects related to air pollution, such as asthma. 

What are the expected benefits?

The Central Business District Tolling Program is expected to deliver many benefits for New York City, including:

  • Reduced traffic in and around the Manhattan CBD

  • A regular source of funding to improve and modernize MTA subways, buses, and commuter railroads

  • Better air quality

  • Promoting equity by providing expanded access to the transit system

  • Reduced travel times

While a variety of congestion management strategies have been considered and evaluated over the past several decades, CBDTP is the only one that can both meaningfully reduce congestion and provided sustainable funding for transportation improvements. It’s a win for everybody on the move in the New York Metropolitan Area. 

Which government agencies are involved?

CBDTP is a project involving three Project Sponsors: MTA Bridges and Tunnels (also known as the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or TBTA), the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). 

 

At the federal level, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of the Department of Transportation, is also overseeing this initiative, pursuant to the Program’s acceptance into FHWA’s Value Pilot Pricing Program. Importantly, FHWA reviewed the Environmental Assessment completed by the sponsor agencies, and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, or FONSI. This means that CBDTP is expected to have no significant negative impact on the human or natural environment. 

How does it work?

Vehicles entering the Manhattan CBD tolling zone will be detected by the tolling system equipment and charged a toll. Customers will be able to use their E-ZPass tags as they do to pay tolls on other roads, bridges and tunnels today. For those who do not have E-ZPass, a bill will be sent by mail to the registered owner of the vehicle. 

When does the Congestion Pricing begin?

The Program is anticipated to begin in Spring 2024. A 30-day testing phase and a 60-day public information campaign will precede the start of toll collection. By law, for the first 60 days, only the established tolls – no additional fees, charges, or fines – will be collected. 

The Manhattan Central Business District (CBD)

Where is the tolling zone?

The Program applies to Manhattan including and below 60th Street. The toll zone excludes the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Drive, the West Side Highway/West Street (Route 9A), and any surface roadway portion of the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel connecting to West Street. Vehicles that remain only on those excluded roadways and do not enter the Program area will not be tolled. However, if a vehicle moves from one of those roadways onto a street within the zone – for example, if it takes the FDR Drive offramp onto South Street, or exits the Carey Tunnel going towards Trinity Place - then it will be required to pay the toll unless it is exempt.  

Which bridge and tunnel crossings require me to pay the toll?

Any route to or from a bridge or tunnel that requires entering the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) from outside the CBD or from an excluded roadway will be tolled. The excluded roadways are the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Drive, the West Side Highway/West Street (Route 9A), and any surface roadway portion of the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel connecting to West Street.

 

If you take the Manhattan Bridge or Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, you will be tolled upon arriving in Manhattan, as these bridges lead directly into the CBD. 

 

Vehicles will not be tolled when taking ramps that connect directly between the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Bridge and FDR Drive. However, if you exit the FDR onto a street within the CBD, then you will be tolled. In addition, vehicles traveling northbound on the FDR Drive that use the exit at East Houston Street to turn and immediately travel southbound on the FDR Drive will be tolled. If you exit onto Centre Street or Pearl Street, you will be tolled.

 

Vehicles traveling into Manhattan from Queens via the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge will not be tolled if they use the north upper roadway which leads directly onto East 62nd Street; all other routes into Manhattan on this bridge lead into the CBD and will be tolled. Going from Manhattan to Queens, all routes start within the CBD and will be tolled if you are coming from outside the CBD – for example, if you started north of 60th Street and then drove south to get onto the bridge. If your journey began in the CBD and you take the bridge into Queens, you will not be tolled.

 

All routes from the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels will be tolled. However, when paying with a valid E-ZPass, you will receive a credit against the cost of the toll during peak hours. Please see the toll rate schedule for details.

 

When using the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel to enter Manhattan from Brooklyn, you will not be tolled if you connect directly to West Street (including use of the Battery Park Underpass) and continue your journey out of the CBD using excluded roadways. However, if you exit the excluded roadways and enter the CBD, you will be tolled. If you exit the tunnel onto Trinity Place, you will be tolled. 

Paying the Toll

How much is the toll?

Toll amounts vary by type of vehicle, time of day, and amount of any crossing credits applied. You may view the proposed toll schedule by clicking here. State law required the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) to recommend a toll structure, including plans for any credits, discounts, and exemptions. The TMRB issued a report with its recommendations on November 30, 2023. After public hearings in accordance with the State Administrative Procedures Act, or SAPA, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) Board will vote to adopt a toll schedule. This process is currently underway. Please check back at a later date for more details. 

How do I pay?

The best way to pay the CBDTP toll is with your E-ZPass. Most people will be able to use the same E-ZPass they currently have. Certain discount or exemption plans may require separate E-ZPass acconts; more information on that will be available soon. If you do not have an E-ZPass, you can sign up by clicking here. E-ZPass offers you the ability to pay either per-trip or with a pre-loaded balance, and you have the option to refill your account with cash at participating retail outlets.

 

For drivers who do not have an E-ZPass transponder in their vehicle, CBDTP roadside equipment will take a photograph of the vehicle’s license plate and a Tolls by Mail bill will be sent to the address of the registered vehicle on file with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. CBD tolls will appear on your bill alongside any other tolls from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (MTA Bridges & Tunnels), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York State Bridge Authority crossings, as well as trips on the New York State Thruway. Keep in mind that Tolls by Mail are more expensive than those paid with E-ZPass.  

 

Recognizing that this will be the first time that congestion pricing is implemented in the United States, there will be a 60-day grace period at the start of the Program to ensure that drivers have time to learn where, when, and how they will be tolled. No additional fines or fees will be assessed during this time. 

 

Please note that once this grace period has ended, a late fee will be assessed on all tolls not paid within 30 days. If payment is not made after the second bill, then an administrative violation fee will be imposed on the vehicle owner. Persistent toll violations may lead to suspension of your vehicle’s registration.  

 

As shown in the toll rate schedule, tolls are lowest when you pay by E-ZPass. Sign up today, and make sure that the license plates of all vehicles you use are registered to your E-ZPass account. 

If I make multiple trips in and out of the zone in one day, will I have to pay each time?

Passenger vehicles and motorcycles will be charged no more than once a day to enter the Manhattan Central Business District. Trucks and buses (other than exempt buses providing transit or commuter services) will be charged for every entry. 

Do I have to pay if I travel only within the CBD?

With the exception of trips made by taxis or for-hire vehicles, trips that are entirely within the CBD are not tolled.  

 

While TLC-licensed taxis and for-hire vehicles will be exempted from the toll, a per-ride CBD toll will be added to each paid passenger trip fare for rides made to, from, or within the CBD at the rate of $1.25 per ride for taxis and $2.50 per ride for app-based FHVs. This toll is payable by the passenger.

I live within the Manhattan CBD. Do I still need to pay?

Yes. All vehicles, except for those with exemptions, will be charged a toll when entering the Manhattan CBD, as written in State law. You will only be charged when your vehicle enters the CBD. You will not be charged for days when your vehicle is parked, or on days when all trips made are entirely within the CBD.  

 

For example, if you live within the Manhattan CBD and park in a garage all week, but then take a weekend trip out of town in which you leave on Friday and return on Monday, you will be charged once, on Monday. 

 

If you move your vehicle for alternate side parking regulations, but do not cross the boundaries of the charging zone, then you will not be tolled. 

I drive a taxi/for-hire vehicle. How does this affect me?

The proposed toll rate schedule shows that New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission-licensed taxis, green cabs, and for-hire vehicles will have a per-trip charge on journeys to, from, or within the CBD, paid for by the customer. Drivers of these vehicles will not need to pay the toll themselves. 

I am disabled and cannot use public transportation. Do I still need to pay the toll?

By law, qualifying vehicles transporting people with disabilities will be exempt from the toll. The specific details are still being determined and will be announced at a later date. 

If I paid a tunnel toll to cross into the Manhattan CBD, do I also have to pay the congestion toll?

Yes, but you will receive a credit during peak hours if you use a valid E-ZPass. Please see the proposed toll rate schedule for details.

I ride a motorcycle. Do I need to pay as much as a car?

The proposed toll schedule charges motorcycles half the rate of the base auto toll. 

I drive a low- or zero-emissions vehicle. Do I still need to pay the toll?

Yes. All vehicles, regardless of their emissions levels, contribute to congestion and will be tolled unless they have an exemption. 

Exemptions, Discounts, and Credits

Who is exempt from the toll?

Certain vehicles will be exempt from the toll. They are:

  • Authorized emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and fire vehicles.

  • Qualifying vehicles transporting people with disabilities.  The specific details have not yet been finalized.

  • Specialized government vehicles specifically involved in public works, such as garbage trucks and pothole repair trucks.

  • Transit and commuter buses (not intercity buses), and commuter vans registered with the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission 

Why are so few vehicles receiving exemptions? Lots of people have good reasons to drive.

The Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) advised that the number of discounts and exemptions, beyond those listed in the Traffic Mobility Act, be kept low. This is because, in order to raise the necessary amount of money for transit improvements as required by law, every discount or exemption for the few raises the base toll rate for the many. In addition, discounts and exemptions reduce or eliminate the incentive for drivers to change their travel behaviors and avoid adding congestion to the Manhattan CBD. 

What discounts or tax credits are available for people with low incomes?

By law, residents in the Manhattan Central Business District who have a New York State adjusted gross income of under $60,000 will be eligible for a New York State tax credit for any CBDTP tolls paid. The Manhattan Central Business District is the area including and below 60th Street. If you are not sure whether you qualify, check your most recent State tax return to find your adjusted gross income. 

 

The Low-Income Discount Program essentially offers a 50 percent discount from the peak auto toll rate using an eligible vehicle on its 11th trip and trips thereafter in a calendar month if the either of the following applies:

  • The registered owner’s Federal adjusted gross income reported on last year’s income tax return was $50,000 or less

  • The registered owner is enrolled in a qualifying government-provided income-based program, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). 

How do I apply for an exemption or discount, or claim a tax credit?

Applications and forms will be available on this website at a later date. Please check back for information about how to apply. 

I am disabled and have a parking permit/hang tag. Does this qualify for the exemption?

No. At present, vehicles with removable, transferable parking permits and hang tags do not qualify as vehicles transporting people with disabilities.   

I have medical appointments in the tolling zone. Do I still need to pay the toll?

Yes, regardless of trip purpose, any vehicle entering the Manhattan CBD must pay the toll, unless you have an exemption. 

 

There are many programs that offer free or discounted transportation for medical travel that you may qualify for if you have appointments or are receiving treatment in the Program area. Many of these are specifically for those who are low-income, enrollees in Medicaid and Medicare plans, veterans, or persons with developmental disabilities: 

 

 

Transit is also an option for travel to medical appointments. Reduced fare MetroCards are available to those who are age 65 or older, or who have qualifying disabilities. New York City Transit’s Access-A-Ride also provides transportation for eligible customers with disabilities that prevent the use of subways or buses. If you have an Access-a-Ride MetroCard with PCA designation, then a personal care attendant can ride MTA buses, subways, and railroads with you for free. 

 

Finally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows for medical tax deductions to the extent that they exceed 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income of those filing their taxes. This can include travel expenses, including and tolls. If you think that payment of CBDTP tolls will meet or exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you may wish to consult with a tax expert to see if you can deduct them from your next tax return. Free tax filing programs are available for qualifying individuals through the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

Further Information

How can I get more information about CBDTP?