MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 18, 2019
MTA Announces Selection of TransCore to Build Nation-Leading Central Business District Tolling System
New York City First in North America to Have Central Business District Tolling to Reduce Congestion & Establish $15 Billion Dedicated Revenue Stream for Mass Transit

MTA Bridges and Tunnels (TBTA) today announced that it has selected TransCore to design, build, operate and maintain the toll system equipment and infrastructure required to implement the first-of-its-kind Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP) in New York City.

The announcement comes just six months after the Governor and the legislature adopted the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act, legislation empowering TBTA to reduce congestion and enhance mobility in the City’s Central Business District. TBTA will work closely with TransCore and the City’s Department of Transportation to install the toll system and infrastructure that will reduce congestion and allow TBTA to generate net revenue sufficient to fund $15 billion for the historic MTA 2020-2024 Capital Plan. New York City is the first in North America to have a Central Business District Tolling Program, which is expected to roll out in 2021.

“This marks a major milestone for the MTA’s first-of-its-kind Central Business District Tolling Program and will reduce congestion on crowded city streets while providing billions in essential funding to transform our transportation system for generations to come,” said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO. “This nation-leading program brings us one step closer to making New York a more environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant city. Quite simply, it makes New York City a better place to live, work, and visit. I look forward to working closely with leadership at TransCore and New York City DOT as we move full speed ahead to make CBDTP fully operational in 2021.”

TransCore, which was selected after a competitive procurement process that featured proposals from two other vendors, will now move forward with the preliminary design phase of this transformative project. The company is expected to leverage the high E-ZPass market share in the New York metropolitan region as well as the East Coast and the Midwest. The toll system equipment will be mounted on infrastructure similar to mast arms and poles already seen throughout the city so as to have a minimal footprint and fit within existing streetscapes.

“TBTA is extraordinarily proud to lead this innovative project as we work to reduce congestion and fund the mass transit system of the future,” said Daniel F. DeCrescenzo, Acting President of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. “The Central Business District Tolling Program will generate substantial support for essential transit improvements in the MTA’s 2020-2024 and subsequent Capital Programs. I applaud the men and women at TBTA and MTA for their work and look forward to partnering with TransCore as we implement the infrastructure to make CBDTP a success.”

“The team is energized and excited to be leading the way on such a transformational initiative,” said Allison L. C. de Cerreño, Ph.D., TBTA’s Senior Vice President of Business Operations. “We look forward to working with the TransCore team and our colleagues at the New York City Department of Transportation as we move forward on this historic effort that will reduce congestion, raise funds to invest in the transit infrastructure, and benefit those living in, commuting to, and visiting our region.”

After the early design phase is complete, TransCore will begin building the infrastructure and installing the toll system equipment. Once operational, TransCore will continue to be responsible for operating and maintaining the infrastructure and toll system for an additional six years. The contract envisions a future-ready system, which allows for new technologies to be incorporated as technologies advance.  The total cost of this design, build, operate and maintain contract is $507 million, which includes incentive payments to encourage on-time delivery

The selected proposal is now pending final approval from the Board next week, one month ahead of schedule.


The Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) is the largest employment center in the region. Within nine square miles, it houses 2 million jobs, 450 million square feet of office space, and 600,000 residents. It is also a regional and national destination for commerce, entertainment and tourism, and it is the economic hub of the region. The 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard ranked New York City as the fourth worst among U.S. cities in terms of congestion. INRIX, a company that provides location-based data and analytics, estimates that New Yorkers lose 133 hours on average each year in congested traffic, which costs them $1,859 in lost productivity and other costs. Further, travel speeds in NYC’s CBD are dropping – Taxi Global Positioning System (GPS) data shows that between 2010 and 2018 average travel speeds in the Manhattan CBD have decreased from 9.1 miles per hour (MPH) to 7 MPH, a decline of 23 percent.

CBDTP provides the MTA with a dedicated and recurring revenue source to both maintain the existing transit system. As demonstrated by the historic $51.5B 2020-2024 Capital Plan recently approved by the MTA Board, extensive capital investment is needed to improve the capacity, reliability and accessibility of the MTA’s transit system over the long term.

The net revenues from the CBD Tolling Program will be put into a lockbox for the MTA Capital Program. 80% will go to NYC Transit for subway and bus improvements, and the remaining 20% will be split evenly between the MTA’s two commuter rail systems – Metro-North Railroad (MNR) and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

The New York State Legislature created the CBD Tolling Program by adopting the MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act in April 2019. This statute called for the creation of a Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB). The TMRB is a new six-member board that will recommend toll amounts and a plan for credits, discounts and exemptions. TBTA, the MTA agency implementing CBD Tolling, will appoint the chair and other members of the TMRB – one will be recommended by the mayor of NYC, one will represent the LIRR region, and one will represent the MNR region.

The TMRB will make its recommendations on toll pricing and structure to the TBTA Board no sooner than November 15, 2020 and no later than December 31, 2020, or no later than 30 days before the CBDTP begins, whichever is later. TBTA will engage in in a public information campaign a minimum of 60 days before the tolling program goes into effect to ensure commuters have appropriate notice and understanding of the central business district tolling program.

While the toll structure has not yet been defined, the law requires exemptions for qualifying emergency vehicles and qualifying vehicles transporting people with disabilities. There will also be a tax credit for CBD tolls incurred by residents living in the Central Business District earning less than $60,000 a year.

CBDTP is expected to be fully operational in 2021.