June 20, 2024

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Truck drivers sue New York over controversial $15 congestion toll to enter Manhattan

Truck drivers sue New York over controversial $15 congestion toll to enter Manhattan

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Commercial truck drivers have joined the long list of opponents who have filed lawsuits to block a controversial, first-in-the-nation congestion toll for entering parts of Manhattan.

The Trucking Association of New York (TANY) criticized the congestion pricing program as unconstitutional and “a scheme for which there is no prior precedent in this country” in a lawsuit filed Thursday against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the state in Manhattan federal court.

Car drivers will pay a $15 toll to enter Manhattan’s business district south of 60th Street — but truck drivers will pay $24 to $36 depending on the size of their vehicle.

Truck drivers have joined a conga line of opponents who have filed lawsuits to block the nation’s controversial first-ever congestion toll for entering Manhattan’s business district south of 60th Street. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Barring judicial intervention, the Roads and Transport Authority plans to impose the new fees on June 30.

TANY claims congestion pricing violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce.

The high number “imposes a financial burden…which is excessive,” the suit says.

“The congestion pricing policy unfairly targets trucking and logistics companies, which charge much higher rates than passenger vehicles,” the Trucking Association said. He said in a statement.

The Trucking Association of New York (TANY) criticized the congestion pricing program as unconstitutional and “a scheme for which there is no prior precedent in this country” in a lawsuit filed Thursday. Helen Seidman

“TANY and its members are not fundamentally opposed to congestion pricing. TANY is fighting to repeal the current version of this plan and hopes to improve the plan to reduce its negative impacts and bring parity to the logistics industry.”

The trucking group said “possible reforms” include a complete exemption from duties for essential industries, a limit to once-daily tolls on trucks, or “a compromise approach that would offer price parity between trucks and passenger vehicles.”

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The truck driver’s lawsuit follows lawsuits filed by Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, the United Federation of Teachers, Lower Manhattan residents, small businesses and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

Oral arguments have recently been heard in New York court cases.

The MTA declined to comment on the truckers’ lawsuit.

Car drivers will pay a $15 toll to enter Manhattan’s business district south of 60th Street — but truck drivers will pay $24 to $36 depending on the size of their vehicle. Matthew McDermott

But the Pro-Transit Congestion Pricing Coalition Now said, “The New York Trucking Association’s 11th-hour lawsuit completely ignores the facts.”

“Trucks disproportionately impact traffic congestion and air pollution, justifying higher fees. Charging additional fees for trucks is a common practice that reflects greater infrastructure and environmental costs.

The group notes that truck drivers, like car drivers, will pay much less with reduced fees during off-peak deliveries.

A chart showing congestion tolls in Manhattan New York Post

“Ensuring faster delivery times for business owners and reduced daytime congestion is a win for businesses, truck drivers and New Yorkers.”

Congestion pricing is implemented because of a state law supported by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2019. Gov. Kathy Hochul has championed the toll to reduce congestion and pollution downtown, while generating revenue to boost mass transit.

The trucker’s lawsuit follows lawsuits filed by Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, the United Federation of Teachers, Lower Manhattan residents, small businesses and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. AP

The MTA said the new fees would generate $1 billion annually to pay for new subway trains, signal repairs, a new expansion of the Second Avenue subway in East Harlem and other major projects, while reducing congestion downtown.

Critics argue that these losses will divert traffic and pollution elsewhere and pick apart the wallets of motorists and businesses, handing their dollars to a much-hit agency with a documented record of massive overspending on capital projects compared to other large transportation systems around the world.

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A recent poll showed New York voters across the board overwhelmingly opposed the new congestion toll.




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