New Jersey Challenges NYC Congestion Pricing in Federal Court – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

New Jersey Challenges NYC Congestion Pricing in Federal Court – Latest International Breaking News Today

Federal transportation officials allowed New York to move ahead with congestion pricing without fully addressing how traffic and pollution will be shifted to its neighbors across the Hudson River, a lawyer for the state of New Jersey argued in federal court on Wednesday.

Now, those New Jersey communities will be forced to shoulder the environmental and financial costs of the new tolling program while New York receives all the benefits, the lawyer, Randy M. Mastro, said in his opening remarks in New Jersey’s lawsuit against congestion pricing.

“It isn’t about whether you like or don’t like congestion pricing,” Mr. Mastro said in a courtroom in Newark. The issue was whether the Federal Highway Administration “took a hard look” at the potential environmental effects.

New Jersey’s governor, Philip D. Murphy, and other state officials are suing the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, an agency within that department, for allowing the program to move forward.

In court papers, they have challenged the agency’s “decision to rubber-stamp the environmental review phase” of the tolling program based on its “inexplicable finding” that there will be no significant impact, according to court filings.

The closely-watched case is the first legal test of New York City’s congestion pricing program, which brings to this country a divisive traffic management policy that has worked in other traffic-choked cities including London, Stockholm and Singapore.

It is widely seen as the most serious challenge to the tolling program, which is expected to begin charging drivers in mid-June, and could potentially block or upend it at the last minute. State officials are seeking a more comprehensive environmental study of the program, which would delay it.

See also  White House: AI companies need to report safety tests to government - 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

Wednesday was the first day of a two-day hearing that has been scheduled on the case before Judge Leo M. Gordon, who is expected to make a decision before the tolls start in just over two months. The courtroo

Most passenger cars will be charged $15 a day to enter a designated congestion zone in Manhattan at 60th Street and below during peak hours, while commercial trucks will be charged $24 or $36 during those times, depending on their size. The program is expected to reduce traffic in the city’s central business district and raise $1 billion annually for improvements to New York’s mass transit system.

The new tolls were approved last week by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State agency overseeing the program, following an environmental study of its effects. A recent public feedback process elicited more than 25,000 comments about the plan, of which roughly 60 percent were in support.

M.T.A. officials have said that their environmental study was extensive and that mitigation steps will be taken if appropriate, including in New Jersey.

The program is being reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration, which is expected to approve it.

In recent months, a growing number of elected officials, union leaders and residents across the New York City region have mobilized against congestion pricing, citing the cost of the tolls and the potential environmental and public health effects on their neighborhoods. The pricing plan was initially approved by New York State legislators in 2019.

Six lawsuits, including New Jersey’s, have been brought against the program in local federal courts. The mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., Mark J. Sokolich, has filed a related lawsuit.

See also  GOP Senate hopeful looks to distance himself from link to Texas green energy firm - 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

And four additional lawsuits have been brought in New York: one by Ed Day, the Rockland County executive; one by the United Federation of Teachers and Vito Fossella, the Staten Island borough president; and two by separate groups of city residents. A federal court hearing has been scheduled for the New York cases on May 17.

Amid the lawsuits, M.T.A. officials have suspended some capital construction projects that were to be paid for by the program and warned that crucial work to modernize subway signals on the A and C lines had been delayed.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
#Jersey #Challenges #NYC #Congestion #Pricing #Federal #Court

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top