Hudson Valley commuters left out of rail discounts as congestion pricing kicks in June 30

As New Yorkers ramp up for the June 30 launch of congestion pricing tolls in Midtown, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week aimed to ease commuter rail fares with a ten% low cost. But these breaks will not assist Hudson Valley commuters or others who catch a practice outdoors the boundaries of New York City.

That’s as a result of month-to-month rail passes on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will solely be discounted for intra-city journeys. Anyone whose beginning vacation spot is in the suburbs past the 5 boroughs will not qualify.

Officials all through the Hudson Valley had been combating for discounts for drivers, particularly west-of-Hudson commuters who haven’t got the choice of a one-seat practice experience to town. Rockland County and New Jersey officers and others have pursued authorized motion to dam MTA’s congestion pricing plan.

Regional representatives have been fast to blast toll cuts for some, whereas efforts to get discounts for suburban first responders and others have failed.

‘Feels like Groundhog Day’

Elected officers in Rockland and Orange have lengthy stated their counties’ residents are hit with further taxes as a result of they’re in the MTA area however get few advantages from the company.

“Hudson Valley families are struggling under the weight of a crushing affordability crisis and cannot afford the thousands in new tolls a year that it would cost the average Rockland County resident just to commute to New York City for work,” U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, a Republican whose district contains all of Rockland and Putnam and elements of Westchester, stated in a press release. “For the MTA to now discount the rate just for residents of the five boroughs is a slap in the face to Hudson Valley families.”

A congestion pricing scanner is shown above the north-bound side of Broadway, between West 60th and 61st St. in Manhattan, Thursday, November 2, 2023A congestion pricing scanner is shown above the north-bound side of Broadway, between West 60th and 61st St. in Manhattan, Thursday, November 2, 2023

A congestion pricing scanner is shown above the north-bound side of Broadway, between West 60th and 61st St. in Manhattan, Thursday, November 2, 2023

U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan, a Democrat who represents Orange County and parts of Ulster and Dutchess counties, called for the discounts to be extended to all MTA riders. He also said the agency must commit to infrastructure upgrades in the Hudson Valley.

“First the MTA forced through an unfair, uninformed, and unacceptable congestion pricing plan, ignoring the voices of countless Hudson Valley firefighters, police officers, union members, teachers and other hard-working families. Now they’re adding insult to injury,” Ryan stated in a press release.

Ryan and Lawler just lately wrote a letter blasting the NYC-centric commuter discounts to MTA CEO Janno Lieber. The letter was additionally signed by U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a Long Island Republican, and U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat.

“This announcement seems like Groundhog Day,” the letter states, “but once more, you might be placing New York City first, and our communities final.”

The congestion pricing plan, the first approved in the U.S., is designed to curb greenhouse gases by cutting down on single-driver commutes. Toll revenue is also expected to boost funding for the continuously cash-strapped MTA.

In the zone

Tolling in the Congestion Relief Zone will be charged for vehicles entering any parts of Manhattan at or below 60th Street. Vehicles that traverse Manhattan via the West Side Highway and FDR Drive are exempt, as long as they stay on the highways.

Passenger vehicles would pay $15; the toll goes down to $3.75 off-peak, which is 9 p.m.-5 a.m. weekdays and 9 p.m.-9 a.m. weekends.

Trucks would be charged tolls between $24 or $36, based on size. Off-peak fares for trucks are between $6 and $9.

Drivers who don’t use EZPass will pay higher tolls and have to pay through the mail.

Drivers who enter Manhattan via the Holland and Lincoln tunnels can get a toll credit. That’s raised more concern about traffic being pushed onto the George Washington Bridge.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: NYC congestion pricing begins June 30 however low cost will not assist suburbs

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