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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy’s demands on congestion pricing unchanged since 2019

Governor wants New Jersey at the table, with toll money in its wallet

By Nikita Biryukov, March 22 2021 3:04 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy hasn’t changed his stance on congestion pricing since New York lawmakers last pushed to enact greater tolls on commuters heading into New York City two years ago.

“Given the amount of commuters that go into New York City every day — at least they do at a normal time — thirdly, we’d like some of the proceeds to go into New Jersey projects,” he said at Monday’s virus briefing. “That’s where we were, and that continues to be where I would be today.”

Murphy balked when New York tried to impose heftier tolls on drivers crossing the George Washington Bridge. Under that proposal, fees for commuters entering Midtown south of 60th Street could be as high as $25. Those proceeds would have gone to improving the city’s subway system.

The New Jersey governor’s demands remain unchanged: He wants New Jersey to have a spot in negotiations and a share of the proceeds. Murphy’d also like to see commuters treated the same regardless of how the enter the Big Apple.

“At least in the original discussions a couple of years ago, there was an inequity between folks that came through a tunnel versus the George Washington Bridge, which cannot stand,” he said Monday.

Politico on Sunday reported New York was again pushing levying larger tolls on commuters in a bid to fund its public transit system and push virus-wary residents to subways that have seen ridership plummet amid the pandemic.

It’s not clear how that plan’s changed since 2019’s push, but per the report, President Joe Biden’s administration has given New York lawmakers a commitment to deliver information on environmental reviews blocked by the Trump administration in an expedited manner.

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