Trans-Bridge Lines Reacts to No Exemptions on NYC Congestion Toll

Bethlehem, PA – The motorcoach industry has spent the last four years rebuilding business after the industry effects of the pandemic. Now, Trans-Bridge Lines, the premier motorcoach company of the Lehigh Valley, and their industry colleagues have been dealt another blow. Buses will not be exempt from the planned congestion toll to enter New York City’s midtown. Trans-Bridge Lines will be required to pay an extra $24 for its commuter buses and $36 for its charter buses.

“We simply don’t understand this decision”, says Trans-Bridge Lines President, Tom JeBran, “It doesn’t make sense and punishes bus operators who are part of the solution to the congestion problem. The point of the congestion pricing law is that cars will be deterred from entering midtown, which will reduce traffic and pollutants in the air. Buses offer a solution. Not only do modern coaches have technological advances in comfort and safety, they also have clean diesel engines which are non-polluting.”

Trans-Bridge Lines provides work and recreational transportation to thousands of passengers. The toll, which may begin as early as mid-June, will impact approximately 26 Trans-Bridge Lines weekday runs and 10 weekend runs. In addition, charter service for schools, church groups, sports teams, and businesses would be affected. Affiliate company, Trans-Bridge Tours, also provides several One-Day Tours to the City’s attractions which include museums, restaurants, and shopping. Increasing the tolls is an action that not only penalizes the transportation industries, but could also have a negative impact on established businesses in the city.

“We provide daily service for employees who work in all sectors of business from teachers and first responders to healthcare and construction workers”, says JeBran, “We have always tried to provide our customers with fair and competitive pricing. Although we have no immediate plans to raise fares due to this increase, the added expense to our company is another burden we will face.”

Since 1982, Trans-Bridge has operated regular route and commuter service to the Port Authority. Over the years service expanded to include Wall Street, JFK and Newark Airports, the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, and Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne. The service is vital for Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents. The company operates without any subsidies and is supported by the fares it charges. Although not government-contracted transportation, Trans-Bridge does operate “public transportation”.

Trans-Bridge Lines and their industry partners provide an economic and cost-effective method of travel without adding to the issues of congestion by taking up to 56 passenger vehicles off the road per bus. Non-governmentally contracted buses include private emergency response for military, medical, and special events. Evacuations are done by private charter buses. Weather-related shutdowns of airports, railroads, and schools also rely on private operators for assistance.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has responded to the bus industry’s pleas for exemption by stating that private buses contribute to downtown congestion, which is based on findings by its Traffic Mobility Review Board.

The Board report states that “intercity buses do not serve commuters on a daily basis, although they do provide an efficient, quasi-transit option, especially for people of more moderate means. They should be charged $24. Tour buses don’t serve a quasi-public transit role and should be charged $36 for the disproportionate congestion they cause.”1

Buses have always been recognized as being one of the most fuel-efficient modes of transportation, getting approximately 195 passenger miles per gallon vs. a passenger car that gets approximately 25.2 Today’s buses are manufactured with an engine that requires diesel exhaust fluid that breaks down harmful emissions reducing emissions by 90%. Every bus also has diesel particulate filters designed to capture and store exhaust soot, keeping it from being expelled into the air.

“Buses traveling into midtown for Broadway shows and other tourist attractions are contributing to the economy of New York”, continues JeBran, “Tourism has a huge impact, bringing in $74 billion to the City in 2023.3   Buses are key to keeping that momentum going and imposing these extra tolls is cutting off their nose to spite their face.”

Trans-Bridge Lines is hopeful for a reversal on the MTA’s decision and encourages passengers to share their thoughts on the congestion pricing during a public comment period running through March 11. Comments may be submitted online at or by email to


  2. Updated Comparison of Energy Use and Emissions from Different Transportation Modes Using the Latest Available Datasets (Published December 2023 by Texas A&M Transportation Institute)