Governor Murphy Reiterates Opposition to New York City’s Proposed Congestion Tolling Program

June 13, 2023

TRENTON – Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy submitted comments to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) expressing his Administration’s opposition to the Final Environmental Assessment and the Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Central Business District Tolling Program. The comments mark the Administration’s most recent stand against a poorly designed tolling program – devised without adequate input and regard for New Jersey’s interests – that, if allowed to go forward, will unfairly toll New Jersey commuters while disproportionately burdening environmental justice communities in the Garden State.

Since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) first revealed its proposed tolling program, Governor Murphy has remained a staunch advocate for the New Jersey commuters, transportation agencies, businesses, and residents who would suffer unjustly as a result of the unreasonable and unprecedented proposal. The FHWA is deciding whether to allow the MTA’s plans to go forward without a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and the comments submitted by the Murphy Administration argue that this additional review is necessary to address impacts on New Jersey and its residents.

“We have always been receptive to a thoughtfully crafted congestion pricing proposal,” said Governor Murphy. “But we take serious issue with any scheme that is designed not to lessen congestion or pollution, but to line the coffers of the MTA on the backs of hardworking New Jerseyans. Despite the limited environmental review conducted so far, what remains obvious are the severe and long-lasting detriments that will be endured not just by our commuters and transportation agencies, but by residents of environmental justice communities who will see traffic unfairly redirected into their neighborhoods. Until the appropriate environmental review is completed for a project that will literally affect millions of New Jerseyans, we will continue to evaluate every legal option at our disposal.”

In addition to highlighting the anticipated effects of the MTA’s proposal on New Jersey transportation agencies and environmental justice communities, the Administration’s comments highlight a litany of errors in the MTA’s environmental assessment that should prevent the FHWA from allowing the project to proceed without a full EIS. Among other problems, the proposal fails to guarantee New Jersey commuters full credit for tolls paid to cross bridges and tunnels into New York City, contemplates unreasonable tolls on commuter buses, and does not adequately address increased traffic and pollution that the proposal would cause in New Jersey communities.