2 N.J. Congressmen Protest Congestion Pricing Plan

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New Jersey Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell announced Wednesday tht they are introducing legislation to protect New Jersey motorists who already pay up to $15 for bridge or tunnel tolls.

The congressmen say that New York’s plan should not work against New Jersey residents who drive into Manhattan. They say that the plan should benefit the entire region in a way that allows improvements to bridges, tunnels and all commuters.

“I am hoping…that New York comes to its senses and we can sit down together, cooperatively and constructively as we always have. Eliminate this new double tax on New Jersey commuters,” Gottheimer said.

One provision would deny federal transportation funding to New York if New Jersey commuters who pay bridge or tunnel tolls aren’t exempted from the new fee.

“I understand New York’s desire to increase funding for their subway system. I get it. There are plenty of roads here, [Rep. Pascrell] and I would like to fix,” Gottheimer said. “But in Jersey our taxpayers already contribute to the billions in federal transportation dollars that New York subways get every year.”

Details of the fee plan are being finalized. It won’t go into effect until 2021 and will be used to fix the city’s mass transit system.

Pascrell called it “a raw deal for New Jersey commuters.”

New York would become the first American city to use so-called congestion pricing to decrease congestion and fund mass transit improvements.

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