Some private buses and school buses will be exempt from the congestion pricing toll, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Initially, the Traffic Mobility Review Board said that private buses would not be exempt. But bus companies that run regular schedules like Megabus and Hampton Jitney will now be exempt.

What You Need To Know

  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that private commuter buses, school buses and city vehicles used by some employees will be exempt from the congestion pricing toll
  • Meanwhile, the NYPD is deploying hundreds of additional officers into the subway system as part of a weeklong effort to crack down on fare evasion, officials said Monday
  • The MTA is also focusing on fare evasion on buses, piloting video screens on 100 buses so passengers can see they are being recorded in the hopes of deterring them from not paying or assaulting a driver

The BUS4NYC advocacy group is happy with the choice. Many of the companies in the coalition average 750 trips into the congestion pricing zone each week.

“We are providing a public service to the riding public and were pleased and happy to see that the MTA recognizes that," said BUS4NYC Vice President Patrick Condren. "And we support the MTA in any congestion mitigation issues because buses with 55 people on a bus is clearly congestion mitigation.”

The MTA has also clarified that in addition to emergency vehicles, some other cars in the city’s fleet, like those used by case workers for the Administration for Children's Services and building inspectors, will be exempt from the toll.

The toll for most cars driving into the area below 60th Street is expected to be $15 if the driver has an E-ZPass tag. Those without E-ZPasses will pay $22.50 to drive into the Central Business District.

The toll is expected to go into effect this June, barring a judge ruling against the MTA in any one of the four lawsuits filed to stop the plan. The MTA board will vote Wednesday on the congestion pricing plan.

Meanwhile, the NYPD is making progress on subway crime. NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said at a committee meeting Monday that crime has dropped since January, when it was up nearly 50% when compared to the same time period last year.

Kemper also announced “Operation Fare Play” Monday, which will send hundreds of additional police officers into the subway system as part of a weeklong effort to crack down on fare evasion.

Kemper said Monday that fare evasion arrests have led to 11 of the 20 gun arrests so far this year in the subway system.

But fare evasion above ground is also a problem, with nearly 50% of customers not paying on buses as of the end of 2023.

The MTA is responding by installing real-time video screens on 100 buses as part of a pilot program to increase fare collection and safety.

“It’s a deterrent, number one,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “And a reminder that if you do something on our system, we have the opportunity to catch you on camera and bring that to the authorities for appropriate attention, arrest and maybe prosecution.”