Truckers Push Back Against NYC Congestion Fee

Truckers Push Back Against NYC Congestion Fee

( – New York City is the most populated city in America, home to more than 8 million people. It also has a lot of vehicle traffic for both personal and recreational purposes. It causes a lot of delays and pollution in the city. To that end, New York City officials passed a congestion toll plan as part of its 2019 budget. It will go into effect this month, but truckers are suing to prevent its implementation.

On Thursday, May 30, the Trucking Association of New York (TANY) filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Letitia James, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA), and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The suit alleges that the congestion toll is unconstitutional, violating the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses. The former gives Congress the authority “to regulate commerce,” and the latter states that a “State may not enact or enforce” legislation “having the force and effect of law related to prices, routes, or services of motor carriers” who transport property.

The congestion toll would place a hefty charge on drivers entering New York City’s Midtown region. Car drivers would pay a set fee of $15, but trucks will have to pay $24 or $36, depending on the size of their vehicle. The toll would go into effect on June 30. Truckers feel this structure is unfair because it charges them more and hits them with the charge every time they enter. So, a truck that makes deliveries to local shops or restaurants could pay that fee each time.

Zach Miller, director of TANY’s Metro Regional Operations, said the trucks “are non-discretionary travel” and make deliveries on demand. Truckers are asking the city to overhaul the fee structure, suggesting a complete exemption for essential industries, including a solution that would “introduce pricing parity,” or a once-a-day fee limit.

Other parties have also sued to prevent the congestion toll from going into effect, including Vito Fossella, the Staten Island Borough president, small businesses, residents of lower Manhattan, and New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy.

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