MTA wants to charge NYC Marathon for shutting down Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

NEW YORK — Drivers may not be the only ones feeling the squeeze of congestion pricing in New York City. 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is asking the New York Road Runners to pay $750,000 each year. The MTA says that is how much it will lose in toll revenue when the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is closed to cars for the race. 

“New Yorkers love Marathon Sunday, but taxpayers cannot be expected to subsidize a wealthy non-government organization like the New York Road Runners to the tune of $750,000. The MTA is prepared to continue working towards a final agreement with the NYRR, provided it leads, over time, to full reimbursement for the lost revenue,” the agency said in a statement.

The annual TCS New York City Marathon has traveled over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge since 1976, and draws runners and spectators from around the world. 

“New York Road Runners’ mission is to help and inspire people through running, and events like the TCS New York City Marathon make a positive impact on the health and well-being of New Yorkers while bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars to the city’s economy,” New York Road Runners said in a statement of their own. “We value our partnership with all the City and State agencies that allow us to stage all of our events, including the marathon. We remain willing to negotiate, but any resolution should reflect the significant value the M.T.A. derives from the marathon, including the increased ridership over marathon weekend.”

Congestion pricing in court

Meanwhile, a court hearing will be held Wednesday in New Jersey over the congestion pricing toll. A Newark federal court judge is set to hear oral arguments between the state and federal transportation officials. 

New Jersey sued the U.S. Department of Transportation last year in an effort to stop the plan. Critics say the MTA failed to conduct a full environmental impact study, and they have raised concerns about traffic in areas outside the congestion zone as drivers try to avoid the tolls. 

MTA officials say congestion pricing is expected to start in June, pending several ongoing lawsuits. They say the court cases could not only the slow the rollout but threaten to stall other projects, like modernizing the subway signal system. 

The new tolls will charge most drivers $15 to enter Manhattan’s Central Business District below 60th Street during peak hours.

The fees are lower for motorcycles and rideshare vehicles but higher for trucks. Some exemptions have been made for school buses and city-owned vehicles, but not for city employees…

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