Solve for the (tri-state) equilibrium

New York recently approved congestion pricing, a plan to make it more expensive to drive into the heart of Manhattan. Officials in New Jersey are enraged and have griped, half-jokingly, that it will cost less to travel to California than to cross the Hudson River.

And they are vowing revenge.

The mayor of Jersey City suggested that New Jerseyans should toll New Yorkers entering their state.

Here is more from Emma G. Fitzsimmons at the NYT.


The equilibrium I'm hoping for is work-from-home becoming more mainstream as commuting costs increase.


Not a fan of Alexander Hamilton or Congress? How about this example instead - 'Under an 1834 compact between New York and New Jersey, Ellis Island was deemed part of New York. It was later determined, by the Supreme Court, that New Jersey would have sovereign rights over all submerged lands on its side of the Hudson River. During the time Ellis Island was used to receive immigrants, the Federal Government filled around the island adding some 24.5 acres to its original size over 42 years. When immigration was diverted from Ellis Island in 1954, New York and New Jersey asserted rival sovereignty claims over the Island's filled portions. New Jersey finally invoked the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to solve the matter once and for all time.

The Court held that the 1834 compact between the two states, although granting New York sovereignty over Ellis Island, did not support an inference that any portions added to the island's New Jersey side would also belong to New York. The lack of meets and bounds descriptions in the compact indicated that it merely applied to Ellis Island as it existed in 1834, and did not contemplate ownership of expanded portions. Moreover, the Court noted that under the common law doctrine of avulsion, sudden shoreline changes have no effect on boundaries. Thus, since New Jersey had sovereignty over previously submerged portions of Ellis Island, it would retain such sovereignty when these portions were filled until raised above the water line on its side of the Island.'

Certainly worked out better than how NJ and NY used to resolve boundary disputes, before the Constitution - 'For the first half of the eighteenth century, New York and New Jersey were engaged in the New York - New Jersey Line War (also known as the N.J. Line War). This involved a series of skirmishes to determine the northern border of New Jersey, including a final skirmish in 1765 that was carried out with fists (not weapons because it was the Sabbath). In order to avoid further fighting, King George III appointed a royal commission in 1769 to determine once and for all what the border would be.'

NJ-NY disputes have a long history, after all. And it seems the best way to resolve them is to remove such disputes from the hands of those living in NY and NJ entirely.

You're obviously completely clueless. Your walls of text have nothing to do with the post, which is about congestion pricing.

@c_p - right you are! I'm actually reading a book on the Vanderbilt now, "Fortune's Children: the fall of the house of Vanderbilt" by Arthur Vanderbilt, documenting the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations".

But Anderson Cooper models those shirts so very well.

On the example of ferry subsidization, the obvious solution is to plug all the tunnels and demolish all the bridges within and connecting to the Five Boroughs proper so that ferry commutes can be subsidized for all (with ferry traffic limited to pedestrians, ostensibly).

This is a rare instance where the U.S. Constitution has a provision clearly on point and prohibiting the proposal. Article I, Section 10 (second two paragraphs): "No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay." Along with the judicial gloss this has picked up over time in freedom to travel cases.

Read the article

Not sure I follow. This isn't an import duty, its a sales tax on the consumption of limited road capacity. That is, its not simply levied on thos from out of state, but on all users of the road.

Logic consistent with the above post would indicate that the state could not levy NYS sales tax on a product brought in from out of state and sold within NYS, no?

The congestion charge is legal. The toll-New-Yorkers-for-entering-New-Jersey proposal, included in Tyler's quote, is unconstitutional.

Maybe that is the reason that bridges (GW, Outer Bridge) from NJ to NY (and back to NJ) only impose (exorbitant) tolls in the NY direction.

In other tri-state news: this guy did not pay a toll to go from NJ to NYC. NYPD counter-terror, secret police at St. Patrick's Cathedral took into custody a philosophy professor/PhD candidate from NJ with cans of gasoline, lighter fluid. He was muttering something about nobody knowing how the Paris fire erupted; but Quasimodo has a hunch.


"… And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields."
As the American regime collapses, regional rivalries get stronger and stronger until the cannon balls fly and the knell of the Union sounds.

The State of The (Brazilian) Union is great. President Captain Bolsonaro compare it to clean, fair, blue skies. He has been chosen by famous Time Magazine, an American publication, as one of the most influetial persons in the whole world. The sun never sets on President Captain Bolsonaro.

In that case, TP away. How open are Brazilian borders and hearts to immigrants? Such a paradise will surely the destination of Americans tired of Trump's America

Suffices to say that Brazil is housing, healing and feeding thousands of refugees from the Castilian dictatorship and tried to send food to the Castilians before they closed the border. President Captain has refused to sent the refugees back.

Also Brazilian morale is high thanks to the reforms President Captain Bolsonaro is implementing. Meanwhile, according to experts, America is crubling like the former Soviet Union.
Russian scientists predict that America will disintegrate soon.

When I lived in NYC, we used to joke that we should drop all the tolls on the bridge and tunnel crowd completely, and just require that they take a bag of trash with them when they leave.

Garbage problem solved.

I've driven into Manhattan once. All I remember is the extortionate toll for the tunnel (and the fact that my GPS stopped working as soon as we entered the island). Adding an additional toll/charge seems a bit much.

What you are realizing is, the point of congestion pricing is to cause many to decide it's better not to drive to the city but to take public transit. It's supposed to be a bit much.

Yep, as a visitor I don't suffer the same aggravations that a resident does, but for visitors the experience is great: the last time I visited NY I landed in Newark and took a train to Manhattan, cheaper and easier than renting a car or taking a taxi, just sit back and relax.

I liked the experience even though there were two broken down trains that caused my train to be stuck in a station; on the PA system they suggested that we take some other train to Hoboken and from there take some other train to Manhattan. Contrary to stereotype the PA audio was intelligible rather than garbled, and in most any other American city a breakdown on one line would've meant no rail service but NYC has so much redundancy that we passengers could simply switch to another route and still end up where we wanted to go.

I described my experience to some relatives and friends that night; they thought it was another example of the decrepit NYC rail system failing yet again but for me the visitor it was nice to (a) be able to take rail to get from the airport to my destination and (b) be able to do so despite two broken trains, which would've paralyzed most other cities' systems because they typically have just one rail line from the airport to the city center.

I've never driven in New York and don't particularly ever want to (I did rent a car and drive from JFK Airport to the Hamptons once but that's far different from trying to navigate Manhattan). Similarly I owned a car in Boston only briefly, I bought it precisely because I was going to move to LA.

But yes, for people who live there and have reason to own a car and drive, the tolls can be an aggravation.

Obviously the charge was too low, because you still decided to drive into Manhattan like an idiot. Here's a problem markets were born to solve.

Sure, I'll solve for the equilibrium:

[from the article:] “That’s fine,” another man wrote. “I’ll never drive there again.”

Mission Accomplished. Sounds like it's likely to do exactly what it's supposed to do. Just as congestion pricing has successfully done in places like London. Sounds like a pretty great equilibrium to me!

I believe there equilibrium he's coyly referring to starts when NJ starts doing the same to New Yorkers.

"Wait... they think that we actually wanted to drive there?" chuckled the New Yorker.

What am I missing- where will the extra charge come in if you cross at the GW bridge then drive south of 60th street? Or if you were to drive in from the Bronx?

You can park your car in the zone 24x7, and then pay the congestion charge every day you drive out of its parking space.

The implementation in some places is essentially an honor system for untagged unregistered vehicles: you go to a website and pay the daily fee. Technology allows transponders and licence plate readers to detect vehicles at many points and then charge accounts automatically without any toll points. In London, plate readers capture entry on major roads, but mobile vans driving around detect those that were not recorded entering. The charge for not paying voluntarily (by automatic payment, or voluntarily) is at least five times as much.

This is important because the congestion zones grow. London's zone has doubled in area, and is intended to grow.

Isn't driving in from the Bronx the only way you can get into Manhattan without paying a toll? It is the only way I know of.

As a resident of New Jersey, the only concern I have is that the proposed $14 congestion charge is nowhere near enough to cover the massive externalities of driving into Manhattan. Seriously, $14 for occupying about 160 square foot of public space in some of the most valuable piece of real estate in the United States? The annual charge comes out to be about $5000, when the rental price of that land in Manhattan would be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

True. Maybe NYC will kidnap drivers and hold them for ransom.

This has worked out great in London. Last time I was there, there was hardly any traffic. Pedestrians and bicyclists were safe to walk on the streets, and poor people appreciated all the extra time they had on public transport to listen to Conversations with Tyler.

I hear traffic congestion in Caracas is way down, providing an aspirational goal for NYC.

Think of all the traffic avoided by chasing Amazon outta town!

At equilibrium, as New York is a net job center, there will be high tolls on all roads leading into the city, high taxes on city parking lots, and an income tax that applies to everyone who works in the city, not just to those that live there.,

What a horrible life.

It makes me feel grateful again to be able to live where I do.

We should start a GoFundMe for the poor rich residents and commuters of NY/NJ.

There is no equilibrium (TINE).

Isn't this a good thing for New Jersey? Its primary competitor just raised its prices.

That's rich coming from Jersey city.

They recently imposed a payroll tax on all workers. They conveniently exempted Jersey city residents.

Jersey city can suck it.

Never have two states deserved each other more than NY/NJ. It's fun to watch!

Who knew that Alexander Hamilton and Federalist Papers 7 or Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution would be beyond the pale here? Particularly when showing that solving for the (tri-state) equilibrium in such cases reaches back to the Founders?

Or was it merely the fact that most people just don't care about spats between NY and NJ - which have a very long history, and contributed to the replacement of the Articles of Confederation - that was unacceptable?

Jersey is surprised that New York put up a keep out sign?

New Jersey exists because James II didn’t know what he was doing, in a sane world NJ’s boundary with New York would be the Raritan and the fall line.

Do people realize that most people crossing Hudson, are not staying there but going back?
I don’t care if I have to pay $7-7 both ways, or $14 only one way.

A revenge-tax in the other way doesn’t punish newyorkians. It punishes newjersians who are trying to go back home.

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