Manhattan Congestion Pricing

Dan and I have been looking at office space recently (which I mentioned in the post on how square feet are measured in Manhattan). We’ve looked in East Harlem, Midtown West and did drive through considerations of SoBro (the South Bronx), Long Island City, but the most serious contender is a loft space near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

At first we were worried it would take forever to get to Gowanus, but when we drove the route a couple times it seems it will only take 35 minutes – not bad.

I was wondering whether Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to institute congestion pricing would affect us and add $16 on top of the $8+ we’re already going to pay going through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Turns out it won’t.

  • The amount you pay in tolls (using EZ Pass) is deducted from the fee.
  • The fee is an all-day fee – no one gets charged more than once per day.
  • If you stick to the FDR, or West Side Highway (like we would be doing), or travel other approved routes to pass through Manhattan, there’s no fee.
  • The fee is only charged for travel from 6am to 6pm – so we wouldn’t get charged for driving home (which we’d do after 6pm).

So, for a number of reasons it wouldn’t affect us at all…

But I’m shocked Manhattanites don’t have a problem with the plan… If you do any driving in the City during the day – including moving your car for alternate side of the street parking – you’ll get charged $4 if you go past one of the cameras that scans license plates to figure out who’s moving “in the zone”.

Personally, I feel like Manhattanites should get huge breaks from the plan, but that’s not really the case. I’m just glad we live north of 86th Street…

Want more info? Read the Mayor Bloomberg’s fact sheet on congestion pricing (PDF).