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New Jersey Sues Department of Transportation

New Jersey filed a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation for its approval of New York City’s congestion price plan.

The Central Business District Tolling Program has the potential to toll drivers entering Manhattan below 60th street up to $23. The toll could be implemented as soon as Spring 2024.

Officials say the congestion plan aims to reduce carbon emissions from cars and pollution, improve public transit, and make the city more livable. 

This novelty plan is the first of its kind in the United States and it is expected to set an example for the rest of the country. 

Stockholm, London, and Singapore have implemented congestion pricing and recorded a decrease in carbon dioxide pollution, higher average car speeds, and congestion reduction. 

The lawsuit claims that federal approval was “misguided” and violates the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.

The National Environmental Policy Act was created to improve the environment by requiring federal agencies to conduct comprehensive reviews over large-scale proposals that could impact the environment.

The lawsuit goes on to say that New York City’s plan would divert the overflow of traffic directly into New Jersey. Not only would this have a severe impact on the state’s environment, the redirect would raise costs for New Jersey residents who commute into Manhattan everyday.

“New Jersey will bear much of the burden of this congestion pricing scheme—in terms of environmental, financial, and human impacts—but receive none of its benefits,” the lawsuit said.

New Jersey is asking that the pricing plan be put on hold until studies can be conducted to assess its impact on traffic and air. Studies like this can take years to conclude.

The Department of Transportation declined to speak on the lawsuit.

“Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in our crowded downtown, improve air quality and provide critical resources to the MTA,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said last month.

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