Staten Island eyes joining New Jersey in legal fight to block congestion pricing

Staten Island is gearing up to join New Jersey in its legal fight to block the nation’s first congestion pricing toll system from coming to Manhattan.

The Big Apple’s so-called “forgotten borough” is “laying the foundation” for a lawsuit against the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella’s office said in a Saturday advisory.

The news comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit filed Friday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who hopes to block the installation of toll readers that would allow the MTA to charge drivers up to $23 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street.

Murphy contends the feds didn’t conduct a proper review of the toll’s impact on New Jersey drivers.

Fossella is expected to speak on the issue during a news conference Sunday on Staten Island, during which he will outline preparations for his borough’s own legal challenge should the Garden State’s bid fail.

The Republican borough president has spoken to Randy Mastro, the lawyer representing New Jersey, and will be reaching out to other tri-state area elected officials to organize an effort to “defeat congestion pricing in court, one way or another,” according to the advisory.

Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten) told The Post Saturday he’s all in on Fossella’s plan because someone needs to stick up for New York motorists.


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Contractors have begun installing toll readers in Manhattan for the MTA to collect on a controversial congestion-pricing plan, which New Jersey is trying to block with a federal lawsuit.
REUTERS

People drive vehicles in and out of the Lincoln Tunnel
The news comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit filed Friday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who hopes to block the installation of toll readers that would allow the MTA to charge drivers up to $23 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street.
AP

“He has my support – 100% — and I imagine he has the backing of an overwhelming number of city residents,” said Borelli.

“The MTA is a disaster and the default can’t just be that we always pay more.”

The congestion pricing plan is despised by many Staten Islanders in part because it fails to include any discounts for drivers using the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to commute to and from Manhattan.

An MTA spokeswoman declined comment Saturday, but MTA rep John J. McCarthy said Friday that New Jersey’s suit was “baseless.”

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