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New York City Needs Congestion Pricing Now More Than Ever | NRDC

But now, there’s a ray of hope: A comprehensive, progressive congestion pricing strategy currently being discussed could help resolve all these issues simultaneously. The Move NY Fair Plan, backed by a diverse coalition of citizens, advocates, planners, political leaders, labor unions, and more, proposes a simple cordon-style charging system that would collect congestion fees from motorists where transit options are most available (like the Manhattan central business district) and lower tolls where transit is either not available or a less viable option (like the Verrazano Bridge crossing between Staten Island and Brooklyn).

The strategy would create a direct and stable funding stream of as much as $1.5 billion a year to repair, maintain, upgrade, and expand the city’s grossly under-resourced and overburdened public transit system. It would also generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year for needed road and bridge repairs and provide funding to fill critical outer-borough and suburban transit gaps.

And by discouraging unnecessary vehicle travel and encouraging those who do drive to take the shortest routes possible, the pricing plan could reduce congestion by as much as 15 percent and make traffic 20 percent faster in the dense Manhattan core, all while reducing air pollution, making the streets safer for pedestrians, and clearing the way for emergency vehicles. (A 15-year-old congestion pricing program in London, while not a panacea, offers evidence―take a look here―of how this strategy can take on seemingly intractable urban transportation problems and succeed.)

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New York City Needs Congestion Pricing Now More Than Ever | NRDC.