Congestion Pricing Is Coming to New York. Everyone Has an Opinion.
Still, among those who spoke, several clear debates emerged that are likely to shape the implementation of congestion pricing.
Some say Manhattan residents should be exempt.
During the three meetings last week, speakers who favored a congestion pricing plan appeared to outnumber those who did not.
Still, even some supporters did so conditionally, arguing that certain exemptions be added.
Under the congestion pricing plan approved by the state legislature, vehicles entering the tolling zone would be charged once per day. Toll prices have not been set; those will be determined later by a six-person board.
But Allison C. de Cerreño, the M.T.A.’s deputy chief operating officer, has said at public meetings that rates were expected to range from $9 to $23 for passenger vehicles using the E-ZPass toll system, with possible discounts overnight or during off-peak hours. If there are more exemptions, officials said, the base rate would likely be higher.
Currently, emergency vehicles and those transporting people with disabilities are exempt from fees, as are vehicles that travel on the F.D.R. Drive or West Side Highway but do not exit onto city streets. Residents who live in the tolling zone and earn less than $60,000 would also qualify for a tax credit.
But at the hearings many argued that those exemptions and credits did not go far enough.
People who live within the tolling zone in Manhattan wanted an exemption, arguing that because they used their cars infrequently and only to make trips outside the tolling zone, they were not contributing to the congestion targeted by the tolling plan.
“We don’t feel that we should visit family on holidays outside the district, and have to pay what is basically a ransom to get home,” said Howard Babich, who lives in Chelsea.