NYC Creeps Ahead on Congestion Fees, Raising Doubts on Deadline

Tolls on motorists entering midtown Manhattan promise to alter everyday life for millions of people in the most populous U.S. city. Yet with the fees slated to begin in a year, the panel empowered to set pricing and other policies has yet to be created.

Transit advocates and planners say they are increasingly worried that the “Traffic Mobility Review Board” won’t have enough time to get the system going. Its recommendations are due no earlier than Nov. 15, 2020, and the congestion pricing could go into effect as early as Jan. 1, 2021. Any delay would stall funding for improvements to the city’s problem-plagued subways and buses.

“With one year to go until congestion pricing begins, the governor and the MTA need to form the Traffic Mobility Review Board as soon as possible,” said Kate Slevin, a senior vice president of the Regional Plan Association, which for a century has helped set an infrastructure agenda. “The MTA needs to build in enough time to let the public know how they will be affected by congestion pricing and share the details with as much time as possible.”

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