The federal government approved New York City's congestion pricing proposal, which aims to reduce traffic congestion and fund mass transit systems. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will soon start to levy tolls on vehicles entering Manhattan's central business district. The program has been a topic of controversy with some groups pushing for exemptions and critics accusing the initiative of being a "cash grab."
The toll rates range from $9-$23 for cars, motorcycles, and commercial vans; $12-$65 for small trucks; and $12-$82 for large trucks.
Transit honchos say New York's congestion pricing program — which would be the first in the United States but is already used in international cities like London, Stockholm, and Singapore — will reduce carbon emissions in the New York region by reducing the number of people driving to the central business district and enticing more people to take mass transit. The program also comes with the added benefit of reducing congestion in the busiest part of the nation's largest city; the MTA estimates central business district traffic could go down by 11% for cars and 81% for trucks when fully implemented.
Taxi drivers and suburban car commuters, especially those from New Jersey, are protesting the congestion pricing program and seeking exemptions, although it's specifically New Jersey commuters that the new toll is aimed at, I suspect.