In the Wake of Trucking Association Lawsuit, NYC Congestion Pricing Goes on Hold

June 6, 2024

Last week, The Trucking Association of New York (TANY) filed a federal lawsuit challenging New York City’s first-in-the-nation plan to impose fees on motorists, including truckers, for driving into parts of Manhattan.

On June 5, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the city’s new toll, which had been slated to begin on June 30, was indefinitely paused.  

As of this writing, TANY President Kendra Hems plans to continue with the lawsuit. “Given the uncertainty surrounding the plan’s future, we are not dropping our lawsuit,” TANY shared in a news release. While this particular toll remains in limbo over the next few months, the TANY’s ongoing concern highlights the broader supply chain issue in American metro areas.

Simply put, each passing year sees more trucks on the road to meet consumer demands, and traffic congestion will continue to be at odds with fast delivery turnarounds. Part of the TANY’s objection was on the basis of the city’s legal authority to levy the fee, which would have ranged from $24 to $36 every time a truck entered the Congestion Relief Zone, Manhattan’s Central Business District.   

The trucking association’s lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the congestion pricing plan scheduled to start on June 30. The lawsuit argues that the plan infringes upon the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by imposing a financial burden on truckers. Additionally, it contends that the tolling program violates the Federal Aviation Authorization Act, which forbids states from enacting laws that impact the prices, routes, or services of motor carriers.

The associates suggest that the transportation authorities revise the plan to exempt the trucking industry from the fee, limit trucks to being tolled once a day, or toll them at the same rate as passenger vehicles. 

In March, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board overwhelmingly voted to approve congestion pricing, asserting that charging drivers to enter parts of Manhattan would generate millions of dollars for the aging transit system. The city now faces the challenge of navigating elevated traffic on an overburdened and aging transit system.

“As freight demand grows in the coming years, we expect this conversation to continue in other cities. Ultimately, additional transit costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher shipping prices, so we hope future legislation will consider exemptions for non-discretionary travel.” – Landon Pyle, VP of Business Development 

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We will monitor this story closely as it continues to develop in the coming months.

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