FHWA issues FONSI for NYC congestion pricing

June 28, 2023
Drivers into New York City’s Central Business District could expect to pay a new toll as early as May 2024 if a tolling structure is adopted according to the project’s schedule.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for New York City’s Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP), also known as congestion pricing, following a 30-day public review of the Final Environmental Assessment.

The program will charge vehicles a toll for traveling in Manhattan south of and inclusive of 60th Street, excluding through-traffic on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, West Side Highway, Battery Park Underpass and roadway portions of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel connecting to West Street.

With the FONSI issued, the project’s next step will involve the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) developing a recommended toll structure. If TMRB sticks with its adopted timeline, drivers entering the Central Business District can expect to pay a new toll as early as May 2024.

“Now the real work begins. The [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] (MTA) Board, in its capacity as the [Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority] Board, must adopt a tolling structure and contractors need to set up tolling equipment throughout the tolling area. The result will be reduced traffic congestion and the establishment of one of the funding pillars for the MTA’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Program, a historic level of investment to make upgrades that will bring the network to a State of Good Repair, enhance accessibility, accelerate climate resiliency and eliminate transit deserts,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

Local and New York state officials, as well as advocacy groups issued statements supporting the advancement of the planned tolling district. However, New Jersey officials did not share in the program’s praises.

U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11), who formed a caucus focused on opposing congestion pricing, vowed to continue to push back against the plan.

“As we move into the next step of this process, we will continue to evaluate our legislative options to prevent this scam from coming to fruition, sound the alarm so other cities don’t make the same mistake and stand in support of [New Jersey] Gov. [Phil] Murphy's efforts to take legal action should New York City and state proceed with this blatant war on commuters,” the representatives said.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.