EDGEWATER, NJ (CBSNewYork) – The MTA is holding further congestion pricing meetings, this time getting feedback from New Jersey drivers.
As CBS2’s Nick Caloway reports, many in the Garden State could pay as much as $ 31 to commute, and that’s not right.
READ MORE: Controversial congestion pricing could cost $ 9- $ 35 per trip in Manhattan depending on E-ZPass ownership and many other factors
The ride under or over the Hudson River to Manhattan is not cheap. It’s up to $ 16 at the moment.
“It’s literally obscene, I think,” Mahwah resident Barbara Schwartz said.
This commute to work or play is expected to become even more expensive when congestion pricing goes into effect in about 16 months.
Depending on a host of factors, entrance fees to the central business district below 60th Street could range from $ 9 to $ 35.
On Friday, in a virtual town hall, the MTA heard from New Jersey residents.
Some support pricing congestion for potential environmental benefits.
“The recent storms and floods show that we can no longer ignore the devastating effects of climate change,” said Corey Hannigan, a New Jersey resident.
Others see it as a New Jersey tax to pay for New York’s problems.
The MTA hopes the plan will raise $ 1 billion a year to improve public transit, but with the city desperately trying to get workers back to office buildings, congestion pricing may well keep people from working. home.
READ MORE: Governor Hochul says MTA will be ‘much more liberated’, swears it won’t micromanage
“The pandemic has shown us that New Jerseyans don’t even want to go to New York anymore, and if you increase their price, they’re going to find a way not to go to New York,” said Ron Simoncini, executive director of the Fair. Congestion Pricing Alliance.
New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer introduced bipartisan legislation that would block federal funding for MTA projects if congestion pricing is enforced and does not exempt New Jersey crossings.
“This is just an attempt to get out of New Jersey,” Gottheimer said.
The MTA recognizes that the plan could have major impacts for taxi and ride-sharing workers, many of whom are minorities.
Uber driver Danny Montes says he’s worried that with higher prices, fewer people will want to get to town and his family will suffer.
“I want to make a living honestly, you know, paying my bills,” he said.
Pricing congestion, he says, won’t help.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he opposed any congestion pricing plan that would double taxes on New Jersey drivers.
The MTA will be holding more public hearings over the coming weeks for people in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut.
NO MORE NEWS: Public meetings on congestion pricing plan begin in September
Nick Caloway of CBS2 contributed to this report.