N.J. files amended suit to halt N.Y.’s congestion pricing, Union City man joins as plaintiff


The State of New Jersey has filed an amended lawsuit that now contains constitutional claims to halt New York’s congestion pricing, with a Union City man joining as one of two new plaintiffs.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The tolling scheme currently being pursued by the MTA fails to address our greatest concerns. Compounding the federal government’s failure to subject the MTA’s proposal to the full environmental review it warranted, it’s now clear that the MTA’s plans will also result in a scheme that unfairly tolls and discriminates against New Jerseyans, especially low-income New Jersey drivers,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said in a statement.

“The federal government and the MTA can no longer be permitted to fast-track a proposal that solely benefits New York’s transportation system at the expense of hardworking New Jerseyans.”

Today’s proposed amendments to the complaint add the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority as defendants and allege that their proposed congestion pricing tolling scheme violates the U.S. Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause and unconstitutionally burdens the right to travel.

The complaint also adds co-plaintiffs who live in New Jersey, travel for work in the Central Business District (CBD), have lower incomes, and will not be eligible for the CBD tax credit since they do not live in New York.

“Plaintiff Eric Grossman is a resident of Union City, New Jersey and works as a Curator of the String Instrument Collection at The Julliard School, a world leader in performing arts education. Mr. Grossman drives to work from Union City through the Lincoln Tunnel,
oftentimes with instruments in his car,” the federal court filing claims.

“He also frequently travels in and out of the CBD delivering instruments to violin shops throughout New York City. Because he is constantly traveling with instruments, Mr. Grossman does not and cannot take the MTA subway system, and even if he could, often does not have access to public transportation at the times he is commuting back and forth to New York City.”

The lawsuit continues that Grossman makes less than $60,000 a year and therefore “will suffer injury” from having to pay for congestion pricing.

Both he and Timothy Horner, of East Orange, are represented by private counsel in this matter.

The State’s original complaint in the lawsuit, filed in July 2023 against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, alleges that the federal government violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act by approving plans for congestion pricing without adequate environmental review.

The claims against the federal government are still pending, and New Jersey filed its most recent brief in support of those claims on Friday.

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