New York to charge motorists $15 to enter Manhattan

The city wants to ease congestion and pollution in its central business district.

New York state legislators have unearthed a five-year-old bill that provides for a $15 fee for motorists who drive into Manhattan south of Central Park and 60th Street during daytime hours, a travel outlet reported

The bill was passed in 2019 and put on a shelf due to the Covid-19 pandemic but congestion and pollution, as well as financial pressure reminded the authorities of its existence. Enforcement of this legislation would let New York raise $1 billion dollars annually, according the National Public Radio broadcast

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During the daytime, motorists would be charge $15 to drive into the Manhattan zone with their private cars, and $3.75 during night time, from 9:00 p.m.

to 5:00 a.m. during the week and 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekends. Large vehicles would pay more – $36 for sightseeing buses and trucks with trailers during the day. Taxi journeys into the zone will require an extra $1.25 per trip while app-based rides would have to pay $2.50.

Drivers can reduce the cost of the toll by ensuring their vehicles are fitted with an E-ZPass, which can bring down administration costs by monitoring toll usage remotely. Other drivers can expect to be identified through vehicle registration plate scanners which will result in an invoice by mail.

The authorities want to use the new funds to improve the subway and bus network while motivating people to leave their cars at home and use the public transportation system.

The toll would not apply to some categories: 26,000 public buses, school buses, and government workers. The list might change by then as the measure has been challenged in court by a group of motorists who believe they are entitled to exemptions, including businesspeople, school teachers, emergency services, and taxi drivers.

The lawsuit could delay the toll’s start date, which is expected to come into effect in June 2024.

A similar tall exists in many cities around the world - Athens, Brussels, Paris, Stockholm, and Singapore. London is currently considering extending its Low Emission Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone onto larger parts of the city.

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