Governor ‘indefinitely delays’ congestion pricing in Manhattan

Local senators demand full repeal


Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) declared an “indefinite delay” in the implementation of congestion pricing for drivers entering New York City that was due to begin June 30.

The plan was expected to generate $1 billion in revenue, with some of the revenue going to the MTA for transit updates and repairs.

With commuters from the tri-state area most affected by the congestion pricing, requisite law makers spoke out against the initial plan.

After Hochul’s announcement, the Suffolk County Supervisors Association said they “fully supported” Hochul’s decision.

“We recognize the potential impact on residents and businesses in Suffolk County, particularly the economic burden it may place on commuters traveling to and from New York City. This delay allows for further evaluation of alternative solutions to address traffic congestion in the region, ensuring that any measures implemented are equitable and effective for all stakeholders involved,” said the association in a statement.

They urged “continued collaboration” between state and local governments to develop transportation policies “that prioritize the needs of Suffolk County residents and businesses.”

State Sen. Alexis Weik, (R, C-8th District) said she would not be “satisfied until it’s repealed entirely, just as my Senate Republican colleagues and I have insisted on from the beginning.”

Tearing into the governor, Weik went on to say, “Governor Hochul is truly the Governor who can’t do anything right:  Recklessly pushing forward with congestion pricing over my objections, millions of Long Islanders, and really everyone who lives outside of Lower Manhattan; spending hundreds of millions in taxpayer money preparing to implement congestion price; then suddenly ‘postponing’ at the last minute and blowing a huge hole in the MTA’s Capital Plan. Wrong every step of the way.”

State Sen. Dean Murray (R,C-3rd District) said he was “pleased” with Hochul but that, “...I don’t believe for one minute that the threat of the money grab is over... and I want to be clear that backing off congestion pricing, only to increase the job killing MTA Payroll Tax is not looking out for the taxpayers and is not acceptable!”

Murray went on to say that State Senate Republican Conference members “…saw the congestion pricing scheme for exactly what it was—another tax on hardworking New Yorkers.”

“We have attempted several times to repeal this disastrous tax, but each time were rejected by our colleagues in the Democratic majority who supported this tax from the beginning… Governor Hochul’s announcement is a victory for hardworking New Yorkers who simply cannot afford another tax. However, it’s disappointing that the decision was made not with overburdened New Yorkers in mind, but instead to protect vulnerable Democratic candidates in an election year,” said Murray.

State Sen. Monica Martinez (D, WF-4th District) applauded Hochul and said that “hitting the brakes” on the plan would reduce the “toll it would have on our Long Island residents.”

Martinez cautioned, “Though I recognize and support the need to reduce emissions for the health of our region, this goal must not be achieved by driving residents, businesses, and workers out of the city.  I hope this pause will allow time to switch gears toward a more workable solution for Manhattan’s traffic woes.”

The points of entry that would have been affected were the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (known colloquially as the 59th Street bridge) and has a been payment free alternative to the Midtown Tunnel, Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Hugh L. Cary Tunnel, Holland Tunnel and Lincoln Tunnel.

All commuter passenger vehicles would have had to pay a $15 toll during daytime hours for entering Manhattan below 59th Street.

At a press conference in June 2023, when the congestion pricing plan was revealed, which would have made New York City the first in the nation to install the fees, mayor Eric Adams lauded the program. “This is about more than just reducing traffic; this will lead to more resources for public transit, cleaner air, and safer streets. Getting congestion pricing right also means ensuring that historically disadvantaged communities are not further burdened, and we are pleased to see that the environmental assessment now includes $155 million in investments to reduce truck pollution, improve asthma care, and expand parks.”

MTA chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “The result will be reduced traffic congestion and the establishment of one of the funding pillars for the MTA’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Program, a historic level of investment to make upgrades that will bring the network to a State of Good Repair, enhance accessibility, accelerate climate resiliency and eliminate transit deserts.”

New York State Department of Transportation commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Advancing this first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program is important for a multitude of reasons: cleaner air, decreased congestion on our roads, and smart and targeted investments in more equitable and accessible public transportation for the City of New York and those who live, visit and work here.”


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