Any money going New Jersey’s way from congestion pricing would...

Any money going New Jersey’s way from congestion pricing would be “determined by the number of people impacted by additional truck traffic,” according to MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber. Credit: Craig Ruttle

New Jersey will “get its share” of funding to address the negative impacts of the MTA’s forthcoming congestion pricing plan, the transit agency’s leader said last week.

But it remains unclear whether the unspecified financial arrangement will be enough to appease New Jersey officials looking to derail the controversial tolling program.

Amid a legal battle with New Jersey elected officials who have filed federal lawsuits challenging the legality of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Central Business District Tolling Program, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, speaking at a Manhattan event hosted by Crain’s New York Business on Wednesday, said the final congestion pricing plan recently submitted to federal authorities after the MTA board’s approval last month includes funding to mitigate negative environmental impacts in the Garden State.

Talking to reporters after the event, Lieber declined to give details on the plan, but said any money going New Jersey’s way would be “determined by the number of people impacted by additional truck traffic.”

“New Jersey will get its share, exactly on the arithmetic,” Lieber said.

Some congestion pricing supporters familiar with the MTA’s plan said that because New Jersey was in the congestion pricing plan area studied in the project environmental impact process, it was always eligible for mitigation funding. But it was the most Lieber has publicly stated about a willingness to direct project funds across the Hudson River.

“I don’t know if the dollar amounts will match what their concerns are, but this was part of the original plan,” said MTA board member Marc Herbst, who represents Suffolk County. He was not aware of how much money New Jersey might get and whether it would be enough to satisfy lawmakers there.

“It depends on what they think they’re entitled to, and what the actual agreement would provide,” Herbst said. “They’re following through on what the requirement is, so this is not a matter of negotiation, but I think New Jersey is trying to get more out of it.”

The MTA’s apparent change in posture comes after agency officials recently faced off with those from New Jersey in a federal courtroom for oral arguments in the ongoing litigation. Officials with the office of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declined to comment, but Murphy, testifying last month at a congestion pricing public hearing, said he’s “willing to sit at the table with the MTA and find some common ground.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Fort Lee) — a leading opponent of congestion pricing and a supporter of the state’s legal challenges to the plan — said in a statement that the MTA’s stance was “nothing new” and that “it’s only right” that the federal government go ahead with a more comprehensive environmental review of the plan, as sought in the lawsuits.

“Throwing some crumbs to Jersey doesn’t fix the fact that they’re planning to whack hardworking families with a $15-a-day, $4,000-a-year congestion tax,” Gottheimer said.

The MTA has said, if unresolved, the litigation could delay congestion pricing, which the transit authority wants to begin in June. The plan would charge most vehicles $15 for driving below 60th Street in Manhattan during peak periods. Supporters say congestion pricing would reduce traffic in the city, improve air quality, and generate needed funding for transit improvements.

MTA officials have noted that the vast majority of Manhattan commuters — including those living in New Jersey — use public transportation.

Danny Pearlstein, of the Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, said although “the best outcome for everyone in the region … is to have congestion pricing implemented this year,” he doubts the MTA’s mitigation funding offer will be enough to get New Jersey opponents to stand down.

“The positive part of me would like to say this is the resolution. But given New Jersey’s deliberate disregard of the facts … I think what they’re trying for is an old-fashioned shakedown,” Pearlstein said.

New Jersey will “get its share” of funding to address the negative impacts of the MTA’s forthcoming congestion pricing plan, the transit agency’s leader said last week.

But it remains unclear whether the unspecified financial arrangement will be enough to appease New Jersey officials looking to derail the controversial tolling program.

Amid a legal battle with New Jersey elected officials who have filed federal lawsuits challenging the legality of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Central Business District Tolling Program, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, speaking at a Manhattan event hosted by Crain’s New York Business on Wednesday, said the final congestion pricing plan recently submitted to federal authorities after the MTA board’s approval last month includes funding to mitigate negative environmental impacts in the Garden State.

Talking to reporters after the event, Lieber declined to give details on the plan, but said any money going New Jersey’s way would be “determined by the number of people impacted by additional truck traffic.”

“New Jersey will get its share, exactly on the arithmetic,” Lieber said.

Some congestion pricing supporters familiar with the MTA’s plan said that because New Jersey was in the congestion pricing plan area studied in the project environmental impact process, it was always eligible for mitigation funding. But it was the most Lieber has publicly stated about a willingness to direct project funds across the Hudson River.

“I don’t know if the dollar amounts will match what their concerns are, but this was part of the original plan,” said MTA board member Marc Herbst, who represents Suffolk County. He was not aware of how much money New Jersey might get and whether it would be enough to satisfy lawmakers there.

“It depends on what they think they’re entitled to, and what the actual agreement would provide,” Herbst said. “They’re following through on what the requirement is, so this is not a matter of negotiation, but I think New Jersey is trying to get more out of it.”

The MTA’s apparent change in posture comes after agency officials recently faced off with those from New Jersey in a federal courtroom for oral arguments in the ongoing litigation. Officials with the office of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declined to comment, but Murphy, testifying last month at a congestion pricing public hearing, said he’s “willing to sit at the table with the MTA and find some common ground.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Fort Lee) — a leading opponent of congestion pricing and a supporter of the state’s legal challenges to the plan — said in a statement that the MTA’s stance was “nothing new” and that “it’s only right” that the federal government go ahead with a more comprehensive environmental review of the plan, as sought in the lawsuits.

“Throwing some crumbs to Jersey doesn’t fix the fact that they’re planning to whack hardworking families with a $15-a-day, $4,000-a-year congestion tax,” Gottheimer said.

The MTA has said, if unresolved, the litigation could delay congestion pricing, which the transit authority wants to begin in June. The plan would charge most vehicles $15 for driving below 60th Street in Manhattan during peak periods. Supporters say congestion pricing would reduce traffic in the city, improve air quality, and generate needed funding for transit improvements.

MTA officials have noted that the vast majority of Manhattan commuters — including those living in New Jersey — use public transportation.

Danny Pearlstein, of the Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, said although “the best outcome for everyone in the region … is to have congestion pricing implemented this year,” he doubts the MTA’s mitigation funding offer will be enough to get New Jersey opponents to stand down.

“The positive part of me would like to say this is the resolution. But given New Jersey’s deliberate disregard of the facts … I think what they’re trying for is an old-fashioned shakedown,” Pearlstein said.

From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book. Credit: Newsday Staff

Elisa DiStefano kick-starts summer with the Fun Book show From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book.

From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book. Credit: Newsday Staff

Elisa DiStefano kick-starts summer with the Fun Book show From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book.

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME