Speed Reads

best take the train

New York passed the country's first congestion pricing plan

It's almost time for New York drivers to pay up.

After years of talk, the United States' largest city is finally implementing the country's first congestion pricing policy after the state lawmakers passed legislation that includes the plan. Expected to begin at the end of 2020, AM New York reports, the city will try to curb traffic by tolling drivers in Manhattan who dare to drive below 60th street into the city's "business district," where some of the worst congestion is.

The finer details of the plan — like how much drivers will be charged — are still unknown. But drivers will only be charged once per day, and those who live in the toll zone but make less than $60,000 per year will receive credit. The money reaped from the tolls will then go on specifically to fund public transportation in the city.

The legislation has warranted some positive responses so far. "At long last, we'll start to get our city moving again and make both crippling traffic congestion and constant subway breakdowns a thing of the past," Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said in a statement.

But not everyone is convinced of the idea's practicality. Rocky Karla, a delivery service owner, told The Guardian that the charge will force him to raise prices for his customers. "They're saying it's going to help in lowering the congestion," he said. "I don't think so because everyone has to come here."

Per The Guardian, other U.S. cities are considering measures similar to New York's plan, but Gotham's situation is unique for the foreseeable future.