JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- New York City's controversial congestion pricing program is moving forward to generate nearly $1 billion a year in new tolls.
But with New Jersey drivers expected to get hit the hardest, Gov. Phil Murphy says as the plan stands now, it's not going to happen. He even outlined ways to stop it, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.
Commuters going into the city already pay to use the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge. Murphy said Wednesday any plan that would, as he calls it, double-tax drivers, is just not going to happen.
He even went so far as to explain how he would make sure the plan never gets up and running.
"It's not going to happen. Treating commuters from New Jersey, period, but commuters differently, either if you're in the Lincoln, or the Holland versus the GW, that's not going to stand," Murphy said.
The governor said he is not opposed to congestion pricing. He is opposed to having New Jersey commuters paying twice to get into Manhattan's Central Business District, which is anywhere south of 60th Street.
"But, again, it's not going to happen. If we have to, we've got options, which I don't want to use, but we can use through the Port Authority," Murphy said.
He says as it stands, he won't support congestion pricing, and won't sign off on any paperwork to make it happen.
"The technology needed to make this work on places like the George Washington Bridge requires the Port. It's a bi-state authority, all minutes have to be approved by both governors. It's very simple," Murphy said.
Just last week,depending on peak times. There will be exemptions, but not for everyone.
"I haven't heard from the congressman from Bergen County, his offer to give New Yorkers a discount or a credit on the Garden State Parkway. You know, when they pay tolls to go to New Jersey, shouldn't, by his logic, they get a discount on the Garden State Parkway or the Turnpike?" Lieber said.
Lieber said congestion pricing is meant to benefit those who don't drive.
"But generally speaking, it's a better-off group of people who are coming to New York by automobile and already paying all the costs associated with that," Lieber said. "We want to benefit the folks, the 90 percent of people who depend on mass transit, who are already using mass transit. That's where our priority lies, honestly."
CBS2 reached out to Gov. Kathy Hochul's office for comment, but got no answer. The MTA would not go on camera or address Murphy's comments directly, but issued a statement that says, in part, "It has established the Traffic Mobility Review Board that will recommend toll rates and may recommend additional credits, discounts, and exemptions."
It also said the new tolling program won't be on any Port Authority property.
Next week, the MTA will host the first of six public hearings on congestion pricing.
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