The US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration approved the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's congestion tax scheme to charge drivers entering New York City's midtown Manhattan. The tax is the first of its kind in the nation, expected to fleece hardworking Americans between $9 and $23 per day to drive through the district, reported Bloomberg.
"Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in our crowded downtown, improve air quality and provide critical resources to the MTA," said Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Hochul said, "I am proud of the thorough environmental assessment process we conducted, including responding to thousands of comments from community members from across the region."
She added: "With the green light from the federal government, we look forward to moving ahead with the implementation of this program."
The MTA operates NYC's subways, buses, and rail lines. It'll be responsible for implementing the tax scheme as soon as April 2024. Bloomberg said motorists driving south of 60th Street would be able to use an E-ZPass.
The new tax aims to fleece motorists and raise $1 billion of new annual revenue for the MTA. NYC officials want to reduce the number of daily vehicles entering the district by up to 20%.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement from Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Sen. Bob Menendez, and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.—all Democrats, they said, "This is nothing more than a cash grab to fund the MTA."
The new tax will put a paywall around the elite financial district and bar lower-income motorists from entering because of the cost of entry.