Toll prices are increasing in NYC, is your business prepared to manage expenses?
On April 1st, a plan was approved to implement congestion pricing as early as 2021, as well as increase tolls for tunnels and bridges around NYC. This plan was proposed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York State lawmakers as part of their plan to improve public transportation in NYC.
History of Congestion Pricing
The theory of congestion pricing is not new, in fact, this policy has been used in Europe for years. This is not yet used anywhere in the United States but was initially proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007.
The objective of this policy is to promote awareness of environmental impact, as well as raise money for the city. This policy uses a price mechanism to make commuters conscious of the costs that they impose upon others by traveling during peak traffic times by requiring them to pay for the congestion they create. This then encourages the redistribution of the demand in space or time by imposing these additional costs.
The increase in toll prices, as well as congestion pricing, is projected to raise $1 billion each year. This will allow them to reach their goal of $15 billion in bonds for repairs and improvements in public transit.
Most economists agree that forms of road pricing to reduce congestion is economically viable, but how are commuters and residents affected?
From 60th street in midtown south to the battery, all cars, taxis, trucks, and other vehicles will pay congestion pricing. These toll prices will vary depending on the time of day and traffic. During peak business hours, it’s predicted that trucks will pay approximately $25 to enter these zones.
The rise in toll prices for bridges and tunnels are causing the Verrazzano Bridge to have the highest cash toll in the country at $19. Add up costs of tolls to enter and exit the city, in addition to congestion pricing, and drivers could pay $50 in toll expenses in a single day.
So far, despite protest, there will be no exemptions for taxis or commercial vehicles.
According to a 2016 New York DMV report on registered vehicles in NYC, only 4% of vehicles were commercial. Personal vehicles accounted for 89%, taxis 3%, motorcycles 3%, and the remaining 1% classified as other vehicles.
If only 4% of those vehicles were commercial, why aren’t there any exemptions in place? Despite a statement from the President of Trucking Association of NY, Kendra Hems, expressing their belief that the trucking industry should be exempt, the plan has yet to change.
The state believes that creating loopholes would prevent them from reaching their goal of raising money to improve public transportation in the third most congested city in the country.
What does this mean for your fleet?
According to the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), 97,000 trucks and commercial vehicles cross NYC boundaries each day. 25,000 account for vehicles moving to and from Manhattan.
Your vehicles most likely represent a small percentage of that. In theory, if this plan works, your drivers may be able to complete jobs faster, but that doesn’t discount the fact that you will spend significantly more on tolls.
Now more than ever it’s important ot manage toll spend efficiently and find any instances of unauthorized use or errors in invoices and payments.
Regardless of the size of your fleet, you could spend hours combing through records for toll reconciliation. You need a better, more efficient solution.
Toll Management Solution
TollMetrics™ a toll reconciliation software solution allows you to capture toll data and improve fleet-wide efficiency. Combine the power of fleet data and toll management to uncover key insights that allow you to reduce operational costs.
Benefits of combining telematics data and toll management:
- Minimize back-office inefficiencies
- Identify unauthorized toll use
- Optimize fleet routes to avoid peak hours
- Take advantage of volume discounts
- Let data uncover and drive fleet and toll management decisions