How Congestion Pricing Will Affect NJ Drivers Starting This Spring

Drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street will soon have to pay steep additional fees.

Congestion Pricing Tunnel
Many New Jersey politicians oppose the congestion pricing plan. Photo: Shutterstock

New York City’s controversial congestion pricing plan will soon require drivers crossing into Manhattan below 60th Street to pay a fee around $15 per car and $24-$36 for buses and trucks. Added to the tolls at the Hudson and Lincoln tunnels, which rose in January to $13.75 per car roundtrip with the EZ-Pass discount, starting this spring it will cost New Jersey drivers nearly $30 round trip to use the tunnels before 9 pm.

The aim of the Central Business District Tolling Program is to reduce traffic in one of the country’s most congested cities; the revenue will go to improve the city’s mass transit. Similar plans have been successful in Singapore, London and Stockholm.

Most local politicians condemn the plan. “It’s just another unfair double tax on New Jersey commuters and a shameless money grab from New York’s MTA,” says Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, who represents North Jersey communities like Morristown and Montclair.

Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer calls “New York and the MTA’s anti-environment, anti-commuter and anti-business Congestion Tax…nothing but a cash grab that will lead to more pollution and more traffic for Jersey families.”

“Anyone who believes the woefully mismanaged MTA needs even a nickel more from Jersey drivers just needs to look at the billions of taxpayer dollars they waste every year,” says Gottheimer, who represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Bergen County and parts of Passaic and Sussex counties.

Two lawsuits have been filed opposing the plan, by Governor Phil Murphy and Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, arguing that drivers will flock to the George Washington Bridge to avoid the fee. “We [already] deal on a daily basis with the pollutants, the soot, the filth,” Sokolich tells the New York Times.

But Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a 2025 gubernatorial candidate, says the plan is an important step towards transportation equity. “The wealthiest 5 percent of New Jerseyans can afford to drive in every day, pay for parking in New York City, and commute home,” he says in an interview with New Jersey Monthly. “It’s a tax on the wealthy to pay for mass transit, which 95 percent use.”

Fulop pooh-poohs Sokolich’s argument that the plan will increase pollution as drivers toll shop. “Congestion pricing means more people use mass transit and fewer drive, which is good for the environment,” he says.

Some are calling on New Jersey to turn the tables and start charging New Yorkers who reverse commute. “They should be contributing to our mass transit the same way,” Fulop says.

No one knows New Jersey like we do. Sign up for one of our free newsletters here. Want a print magazine mailed to you? Purchase an issue from our online store.

Read more News articles.