Congress Member Nicole Malliotakis, the metropolis’s sole congressional Republican, needs the MTA to decelerate even further the timetable to implement congestion pricing, and is urgent the Biden administration to drive the transit authority to undertake a much more onerous environmental evaluation so as to halt the plan by one other a number of years.
Malliotakis made the announcement with bipartisan aptitude, bringing along with her a congestion pricing foe from the Democratic facet of the aisle, Congress Member Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. Each argued that the plan can be far too burdensome on their constituents who, for varied causes, haven’t any different selection however to drive their personal cars into Manhattan.
“We’re here today in bipartisan opposition to this congestion pricing scheme, which is nothing more than the latest cash-grab of the MTA,” Malliotakis stated at a Monday press convention close to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. “It’s nothing more than the latest war on cars by the city and the state.”
Malliotakis and Gottheimer despatched a letter to the Federal Freeway Administration demanding that congestion pricing — which might set up tolling in Manhattan’s central enterprise district beneath sixtieth Road to elevate cash for the MTA to enhance bus and subway infrastructure — undergo a much more arduous “environmental impact study” as a substitute of a relatively ephemeral environmental evaluation. The letter, co-signed by Lengthy Island rep and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin plus New Jersey Republican Andrew Garbarino, says that may permit for larger public enter in the course of.
The pair say that congestion pricing will deal a very horrendous monetary blow on automotive commuters from their districts who already pay excessive tolls to drive into the metropolis on crossings like the Verrazzano Narrows and George Washington bridges.
“Just read MTA spelled backwards and it tells you exactly how the MTA looks at New Jersey right now,” Gottheimer stated. “As their personal ATM.”
Congestion pricing was accredited for New York Metropolis in 2019 after years of debate, with a two-pronged objective: lowering visitors congestion by disincentivizing driving into Manhattan, and utilizing the estimated $15 billion in income to repair the growing older and crumbling subway system.
Final week, the MTA launched potential toll values to enter Manhattan beneath sixtieth Road, with charges probably reaching as excessive as $23 per crossing.
At a press convention at the New Hyde Park Lengthy Island Rail Street station Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA Chair Janno Lieber stated the state has no plans to delay congestion pricing any further, and the program is predicted to go into impact both late subsequent yr or early the following yr.
“This is a plan that’s been there for decades: 15 to 20 years perhaps,” the governor stated. “The thought is that we can do everything we can to encourage people to take public transportation and get the vehicles off the roads. This is a perfect example of that; how we made those investments. We can offer a better, environmentally friendly alternative that actually puts people’s time back in their lives. So that is what we are focused on.”