Gov. Murphy Rips Into Manhattan Congestion Pricing Scheme For Violating Law

Governor Phil Murphy today formally submitted written comments on behalf of the State of New Jersey to the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority (TBTA), which will set the tolls for New York City’s congestion pricing scheme. In the letter, the Governor raises that the process to establish the tolling scheme violates New York State law and demonstrates that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is continuing to take shortcuts in order to rush through its ill-conceived and ill-considered Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program.

“Today, I again voiced New Jersey’s concerns with MTA’s plans for congestion pricing in New York City,” said Governor Murphy. “MTA continues to cut corners on the legal and procedural requirements to establish congestion pricing in an effort to ignore the chorus of voices rising up in opposition to MTA’s plans. Enough is enough. It’s time for MTA to abandon its proposal and rethink congestion pricing in a way that makes sense.”

In addition to the written comments, Governor Murphy made good on his claims that New Jersey will use every tool at its disposal to fight the unfair and unjust plan by calling into the MTA’s public hearing today to voice his opposition directly to the board on behalf of New Jersey’s 9.3 million residents. Listen to Governor Murphy’s comments here.

Governor Murphy noted in his letter today that the TBTA and the MTA have failed to engage in an adequate rulemaking process in violation of the New York State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act (TMA) in their rush to implement a first-in-the-nation congestion pricing scheme. Moreover, the recommendations being considered by the TBTA raise significant concerns that the adopted tolling scheme will be contrary to state law, as well as arbitrary and capricious and unconstitutional. Those latter claims have been previously outlined in the lawsuit New Jersey filed in July 2023 in federal court.

In his letter today, the Governor also reiterated that the tolling structure recommended by the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) is the result of a failed environmental analysis that violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA) and therefore must be revised to ensure that it complies with state and federal law.

Governor Murphy also noted today that New Jersey will continue to pursue its legal challenges to the proposed tolling scheme, including one lawsuit that is already pending. However, given the undue speed with which the MTA and the TBTA are seeking to implement congestion pricing, New Jersey is compelled to submit this comment letter in advance of its claims being fully adjudicated.

In his letter, Governor Murphy strongly urged the TBTA to implement the following measures to help address the unfair and disproportionate economic and environmental burdens the tolling scheme will place on New Jersey, its residents, and its communities. The first two are newly proposed in today’s letter in direct response to the TMRB’s toll recommendations, while the latter four were proposed in the Governor’s August 2023 letter to the TMRB:

  • Revise and shorten the period during which drivers are subject to peak-hour tolling;
  • Clarify that the low-income toll credit and crossing credits apply jointly;
  • Provide crossing credits for those who use the George Washington Bridge;
  • Increase the crossing credits for all New Jersey crossings;
  • Do not toll during off-peak hours; and
  • Provide additional credits or refunds to all low-income drivers so that they have parity with low-income drivers residing in the Central Business District
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