New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has added New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to an amended lawsuit complaint that the state had filed against the US Department of Transportation.
The lawsuit has argued that New York’s plan to charge drivers a congestion fee for driving through Manhattan’s central business district is unconstitutional and discriminatory against New Jersey residents, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
New Jersey argues in the revised complaint that the congestion pricing policy breaches the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, the report says. This clause restricts states from implementing legislation that unfairly discriminates or places excessive strain on interstate commerce.
The complaint points out that the plan does not allocate any of its generated revenue to New Jersey, nor does it provide tax breaks to its residents. Furthermore, it doesn’t impose the same charge on district residents, who are New Yorkers, for driving within the area.
According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit reads: “New Jersey will not receive any of the revenue from the tolling scheme. Instead, the congestion pricing scheme solely benefits in-state economic interests, the MTA Capital Program, based on revenue it receives from out-of-state commuters, including New Jersey residents.”
New Jersey is requesting both preliminary and permanent injunctions to prevent the MTA from carrying out construction or imposing new tolls related to the plan, as stated in the amended complaint.
This direct approach seeks to suspend the plan’s progress and halt MTA’s activities pending a more extensive environmental review.
On Tuesday, Governor Murphy said: “The federal government and the MTA can no longer be permitted to fast-track a proposal that solely benefits New York’s transportation system at the expense of hardworking New Jerseyans.”
The MTA plans to start tolling drivers by late May or June, with E-ZPass users paying $15 during peak times to access the area south of 60th Street in Manhattan. The toll is projected to generate $1 billion annually.
Wed, 01/17/2024 – 21:45