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NYC Becomes First American City To Greenlight Congestion Toll, Netizens Aren't Amused

Central Business District Tolling Program, also known as the congestion toll, was first introduced in June 2023.
Cover Image Source: Traffic | Photo by Gary Hershorn | Getty Images
Cover Image Source: Traffic | Photo by Gary Hershorn | Getty Images

With rising costs across the board, many New York residents are opting to relocate to other cities. In 2022 alone, approximately 545,500 residents left the state, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the exodus continues. Now, netizens are split on the newly introduced $15 congestion toll by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. While some see it as another incentive to leave the Big Apple, the MTA hopes the toll will address longstanding issues affecting the state.


"It's a historic day: Today, the MTA Board voted to approve the toll rates for the nation's first congestion pricing program. This program will reduce traffic in Manhattan's central business district, reduce pollution, and provide critical funding for transit improvements," MTA posted on X.

Although the board's objectives are widely supported, the toll has sparked dissatisfaction among citizens, who turned to social media to express their grievances. Valentina Gomez expressed criticism on X, stating, "Citizens are taxed on their income, their food, their gasoline, etc. And now this congestion pricing nonsense? Enough with New York."

"It feels like NY is driving away its good citizens. They keep inventing ways to push people out of NY," another user named Pat Pascall commented. Such sentiments reverberated across social media, with many questioning the efficacy of the toll in alleviating traffic issues.

Image Source: andresr/Getty Images
Image Source: Photo by Andresr | Getty Images

Louis Straker Jr. added, "I personally don't know anyone in favor of #CongestionPricing. This decision ranks among the worst for NYC."

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, previously vocal in his opposition to congestion pricing due to its impact on his constituents who commute to Manhattan, expressed dissatisfaction with the final decision. In a statement, he asserted, "This is far from over, and we will continue to fight this blatant cash grab."

Conversely, some believe that congestion pricing will benefit the state. "Congestion pricing is poised to become one of the most successful and popular policies globally. Its advantages will be immediate and widespread, even among drivers. The current objections will seem trivial in hindsight," Jess Coleman optimistically predicted on X.


Central Business District Tolling Program, also known as the congestion toll was first introduced back in June 2023. "Congestion pricing has been given the green light, and we’re ready to get it done right," Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, said at the time.

Recently, authorities announced their decision to impose the $15 toll congestion fee for motorists entering Manhattan. The approval permits the implementation of a $15 toll on most commuter passenger vehicles accessing Manhattan below 69th Street, encompassing the area south of Central Park.


Reportedly, toll rates will fluctuate depending on both the time of day and the vehicle's size. Rates will range from $1.75 for motorcycles crossing during overnight hours to $36 for buses and trucks traveling during the daytime.

Authorities further specified that visitors without E-ZPasses, a device facilitating remote toll collection, will incur higher fees. Taxis, on the other hand, will charge passengers $1.25 per trip within the zone, while app-based ride services will levy a $2.50 fee. The contentious fee is slated to come into effect in mid-June.