PARIS, Aug 17 — A traffic congestion charge for central New York is expected to be in place by the end of 2022. Motorists will have to pay US$23 (RM102.67) a day to drive inside the city. This measure will make New York the first city in the United States to implement such a toll.

Drivers of vehicles will have to pay a fee of up to US$23 to drive in downtown New York, between 60th Street and lower Manhattan. This measure will make the megalopolis the first city in the United States to implement congestion pricing.

The congestion charge functions as a toll to enter city centres. Also known as an “urban toll,” it is essentially a tax on roads with high levels of traffic congestion and an incentive for using public transport.

The expected fare for New York ranges from US$9 to US$23 daily, depending on time of day and type of vehicle, according to The City.nyc. It could drop to US$5 for nighttime fares and will be applied in addition to tunnel and bridge tolls. The city will use a system of passes and license plate readers to enforce the legislation.

In New York, the announcement follows the release of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) environmental assessment report. “Bottom line: congestion pricing is good for the environment, good for public transit and good for New York and the region,” said Janno Lieber, chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

It is expected to improve air quality and increase transit ridership by 1 to 2 per cent, according to the report.

Approved by the New York City Council in 2019, President Joe Biden’s administration revived the project in October 2021. When congestion pricing in the city would go into effect has not yet been specified, but iit’s expected to be tested in 2022. Officials remain open for public comment until September 9. Other major cities using congestion pricing include London, Milan and Stockholm. — ETX Studio