New York, Congestion Pricing and Transportation System Investments

To combat the increasing levels of traffic congestion in Manhattan, in 2019 New York State authorized the nation’s first Central Business District Tolling Program (congestion pricing). This bold action was taken to counteract the adverse economic and health-related impacts that traffic congestion posed to the region and to ensure the region’s continued global competitiveness. As part of the plan, New York is implementing a pricing cordon within the Central Business District from 60th Street south. The program will dedicate 100 percent of the congestion pricing proceeds toward modernizing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway, bus and commuter rail services so that residents have enhanced and reliable alternatives to the automobile. Congestion pricing along with strategic investments in the region’s public transportation systems are reimaging how the public travels. For example, in 2017, New York opened the $4.5 billion first phase of the new Second Avenue Subway. Since its inception, this new subway line has provided 125 million passenger trips and at the same time provided critical system redundancy, thereby significantly reducing passenger crowding on the nearby Lexington Avenue line by 40 percent during peak morning periods. When Phase II construction is complete, this single line will carry 300,000 passenger trips annually, equivalent to the entire Philadelphia SEPTA rail system.