Congestion Pricing: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

New York has already passed a law to charge us (and others) a congestion fee of somewhere from $10.00 to $16.00 (and higher for trucks) to enter New York City below 60th Street. So New Jersey should charge New Yorkers to enter NJ. It would not be difficult to do and would garner the State extra revenue.

Possibly the largest number of people coming from NYC to NJ are residents of NJ who go there to work or visit and then return to the Garden State. We would not want to charge them a fee.

We already have a region-wide E-Z pass system that records the license plate of cars going through tolling booths. The system could charge a $5.00 fee for all vehicles (and more for trucks) entering NJ with a NY license plate.

There are only about six bridges including a tunnel where tolls are collected that provide access from NYC to NJ, so implementing the system would be fairly easy.

There are a lot of warehouse in NJ that stockpile products with huge trucks that transport items into NYC and then return to NJ. The trucks create significant wear and tear on our highways. For those with a NY license plate we could impose a $3.00 add-on fee for NY vehicles (cars and trucks) for each trip traveled on our toll highways. We could then also impose a hefty fine on trucks that try to use alternate roads through local towns to avoid a congestion nightmare.

Under the above scenario trucks carrying products to NYC might change their license plate from NY to NJ, so conceivably there could be an additional add-on charge for all trucks entering NJ.

Funds generated could be dedicated to our Transportation Trust Fund for infrastucture projects including the Gateway Hudson River Tunnel .

What say you?

Trucks and more trucks / Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Comment (1)

  1. Douglas John Bowen

    I’m fine with this, though I might object to the “we’ll show THEM” undertone. If we New Jerseyans can convince our fellow citizens to do this, fine and good. But it’s not as if New York (City) is singling out *only* New Jersey travelers heading for Manhattan. The plan — at least at the moment — doesn’t discriminate against origin points for any state.

    I do salute the suggestion of applying any funds to the Gateway project. Without Gateway, large swaths of New Jersey are in deep, deep danger of economic hardship and disruption. Too few in the Garden State see this threat, so kudos to Mr. Orr for identifying this issue.

    In my view, opposition to congestion pricing in Manhattan all too often is a weak link in the progressive agenda — a sign of “BMW environmentalism” I certainly do not support. And, yes, full disclosure, I own two cars, which in fact is probably one car too many.

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