Gotham Gazette

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congestion pricing

congestion pricing

  • The MTA Must Fix Its Defective Assessment of Congestion Pricing

    Clearer streets on the way (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit)


    Damage continues to mount from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bungled environmental assessment (EA) of congestion pricing. 

    With its sprawling, 46-volume EA, the MTA took a proven policy idea, so well-suited for New York that it was destined to bestow $10 million worth of travel-time savings to drivers across the region every day, and turned it into a dog: a money grab that will cut traffic only in Manhattan.

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  • Health and Transportation Benefits from Congestion Pricing Could Be Truly Transformative

     

    Manhattan traffic (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    Traffic pollutes, and air pollution results in poorer health. This means higher rates of asthma, lower birth weights, and a greater risk of maternal health problems.

    As health and transportation policy experts, we see that congestion pricing in New York City will be a win for our region – not only for transportation flow, but also for air quality and public health.

    Vehicle emissions are a major source of nitrogen oxides

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  • NY-10 Candidates Talk Climate Action at Environment-Focused Forum

    Candidates Niou, Rivera, Simon at Tuesday's forum (photo: The Cooper Union/Marget Long)


    Several Democratic candidates running to represent New York’s new 10th congressional district answered questions related to climate and sustainability challenges facing the district and New York City during a forum held at The Great Hall in Cooper Union Tuesday evening. Such issues are especially relevant in the district given that much of it is along the waterfront, whether its Manhattan or Brooklyn side.

    The panel, hosted by the New York League of

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Janno Lieber on the State of the MTA

    MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber, with Governor Hochul (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    June 22, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: CEO Janno Lieber on the State of the MTA

    MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber joined host Ben Max for a conversation at an event hosted by Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation (publisher of Gotham Gazette). First, opening remarks by Lieber about the state of the MTA, particularly its New York City subways and buses, then the interview with Max about a wide variety of issues including subway service improvements, congestion pricing, MTA

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  • Make No Mistake, the Ongoing Congestion Pricing Delay is Environmental Racism

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    Subway tunnels (photo: Governor's Office)


    How many of our city's children need to suffer while the MTA conducts a 16-month ‘environmental review’ to implement congestion pricing in New York City? 

    Throughout 2020 and into this year, our city and state elected officials proclaimed in the face of COVID-19 and racial justice protests that they were ready to tackle the problematic issues generations of New Yorkers experienced—among them, solving the structural inequities caused by environmental racism and the harm that it

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  • Congestion Pricing Board Must Be Bus Friendly

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    Mass transit watchers are eagerly anticipating who will be appointed to the six-person Traffic Mobility Review Board, which was embedded in last April’s state budget deal outlining the framework for instituting a congestion pricing tolling system around Manhattan’s Central Business District (CBD).

    All but one member (which is selected by the Mayor) will be appointed by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA). While two appointees will represent Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North interests, we strongly believe one of the other appointees must

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  • The Devilish Details of Albany’s MTA Budget Package

    govcuomo photos

    (photo: governor's office)


    My organization, Reinvent Albany, applauds Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing congestion pricing in the state budget. Yet we are concerned about it being undermined by boundless exemptions for politically powerful interest groups, and a proliferation of other new structures and requirements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that passed along with the tolling program.

    Paradoxically, the MTA legislative “reform” package also included a deal for the Legislature to approve new CEO/Chair Pat Foye without

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  • Doing Good Things Badly: Congestion Pricing and MTA Reforms

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    (photo: governor's office)


    Everyone complains that our regional mass transit system is in disrepair, but no one wants to pay to make the needed fixes and modernizations. Have we finally found a way?

    Ten years after legislation was first proposed by Mayor Bloomberg, the state Legislature passed a plan for what has been named “central business district tolling,” otherwise known as congestion pricing, in Manhattan as part of the fiscal year 2019-20 budget. The basic concept is that driving into the central core of Manhattan – defined as

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  • Cuomo, Legislators Agree to $175.5 Billion Budget with Congestion Pricing, Criminal Justice Reform and Commitment to Public Campaign Financing

    Cuomo top aides new budget deal 2019 2020

    Cuomo and top aides announce budget deal (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed on a $175.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins Monday, that includes several significant policy changes for New York, including a congestion pricing program for New York City, a plastic bag ban of sorts, major criminal justice reforms, and a commitment to enact through a new commission a campaign finance program that includes public matching funds.

    The deal,

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  • Key Issues to Watch as New State Budget is Finalized

    Cuomo state budget briefing

    Gov. Cuomo and top aides (photo: governor's office)


    The deadline for the state’s 2020 fiscal year budget is midnight on Sunday and state legislators are expected to work through the weekend as they negotiate a variety of thorny issues with Governor Andrew Cuomo, finalizing the details of policies that have been agreed to in principle, fighting over other issues that are less settled, and determining exactly how much to spend on what in the new fiscal year that begins Monday.

    Some of the budget bills are already public, with

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  • Cuomo's Budget Priority Balancing Act

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    Gov. Cuomo on Long Island (photo: governor's office)


    Before Democrats reclaimed the state Senate last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent years triangulating with the Democratic-controlled Assembly, two factions of Senate Democrats, and the Republican Senate majority. The arrangement allowed him a heavy hand over the legislative and budget agendas in Albany and gave him the ability to claim credit and deflect blame as he saw fit (though critics didn’t always buy his explanations). Progressive legislation regularly withered on the vine

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  • Are the Votes There to Pass Congestion Pricing Through the State Legislature?

    gov cuomo mta fare increase

    (photo: governor's office)


    It’s decision time for the New York State Legislature on the State budget, due March 31, and it’s still not clear congestion pricing has the votes to pass. I’ve been an advocate for congestion pricing since Mayor Bloomberg first proposed it in 2007 and I know that this is the year to get it done.

    The two houses of the State Legislature each pass a “one-house” budget resolution in early March to outline their budget priorities: this year the State Assembly one-house budget articulates that the Assembly

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  • The Route to Cleaner Air for Communities of Color and Low Income: Electric Buses and Congestion Pricing

    gov cuomo sign upgrade mta

    (photo: governor's office)


    Your zip code and how much money you make can determine your health and quality of life in New York City – including the quality of the air you breathe.

    Recent data from The New York City Community Air Survey shows that certain neighborhoods have more particulate matter and black carbon than others. It should come as no surprise that many of these areas – like East Harlem, Washington Heights, or the South Bronx – are largely inhabited by people of color or people with lower incomes, who

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  • Tale of Two Transit Plans: Johnson’s Is Real, Cuomo’s Is Likely

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    Gov. Cuomo (governor's office) & Speaker Johnson (William Alatriste/City Council)


    On February 26, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio released a 10-point plan to “transform and fund” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator David Carlucci

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 6, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator David Carlucci

    dav carlucci senateState Senator David Carlucci represents a Rockland and Westchester district that has a significant stake in the MTA, congestion pricing, and other key transit discussions, not to mention the overall state budget and other state

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  • Johnson Calls for Municipal Control of Subways and Buses, Pledges Congestion Pricing and 'Master Plan for City Streets'

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    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Congestion Pricing & the MTA in 2019

    mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    November 21, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Congestion Pricing & the MTA - Looking Ahead to 2019

    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series

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  • Agenda 2019: Long List of Transit Questions Starts with Saving the Subways

    gov an cuomo littering

    Gov. Cuomo on the tracks (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    2019 will be a pivotal year for New York City transportation, unlike any this city has seen in decades. Not only is

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  • 8 Steps to Fix New York Transit and Get New Yorkers Moving Again

    Cuomo subway repairs

    Gov. Cuomo underground (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With the transit system in New York City in constant crisis over a sustained period of time, from delayed trains underground to ever-dropping bus speeds on the streets, the question of how exactly to fix mass transit has been on the minds of elected and appointed officials, advocates and analysts, and, of course, frustrated commuters. In the aftermath of the short-term Subway Action Plan, the ...

  • The Path Forward for Cuomo's 'One Real Answer,' Congestion Pricing

    gov cuomo congepric

    Cuomo in the midst of his ABNY presentation


    One major issue that hung over the 2018 state budget season was congestion pricing, a plan to charge a fee to all motor vehicles entering parts of Manhattan and diverting the revenue toward funding the beleaguered subway system. Governor Andrew Cuomo directed a panel to study the issue, which determined that a congestion pricing scheme should be implemented and offered options for what it could look like, including a three-year, three-phase proposal. Activist groups applied significant public pressure on the governor and the

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  • State Budget Does Help Mass Transit, But MTA Capital Plan Uncertainty Rising

    subway train repairs

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    The MTA received two significant infusions of new money in the state budget effective April 1. The first is the full $836 million, to be provided to the MTA by December 31, to fund phase one of the Subway Action Plan developed last July by Chair Joseph Lhota and MTA management. The second is through a new tax, starting January 1, on for-hire vehicle trips by taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and others for trips in Manhattan south of 96th street. The tax revenue will put an estimated $400 million a year into the MTA budget

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  • Cuomo Accused of ‘Bait and Switch’ on Congestion Pricing

    Cuomo driving bridge

    Gov. Cuomo at the wheel (Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Though Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed support for instituting a congestion pricing program to reduce street congestion in Manhattan and create a dedicated source of revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and said that he is fighting for such a scheme in state budget negotiations, the governor has recently indicated that he may only be able to win a modest first step, raising the ire of those expecting more.

    “Congestion pricing doesn’t happen in one fell swoop,” Cuomo

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  • Don’t Let Congestion Pricing Push Accessible Taxis Off the Road

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    Masud Chowdhury, the author


    As a longtime yellow taxi driver, I was proud to be among the first to drive one of the city’s wheelchair-accessible taxis, which are equipped to serve New Yorkers with disabilities. There are now around 2,000 accessible yellow taxis in New York City as the industry continues striving to become 50 percent accessible by 2020.

    But it might be impossible for taxi drivers like me to keep our accessible vehicles on the road if we are hit with high fees under a congestion pricing system designed to raise funds for mass transit repairs. While the

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  • Congestion Pricing Train Already Running Late in Albany

    andrew cuomo mta columbus circle trs

    photo via the Governor's office


    There is plenty of debate ongoing about the pros and cons of congestion pricing - but little discussion yet about the purpose of creating such a large flow of money -- $1-$1.5 billion a year -- that logically must be a way to fund the next MTA capital plan. That plan is due out in the fall of 2019 for a five-year cycle from 2020 through 2024.

    The MTA had estimated that both the existing plan (2015-19) and the prior plan (2010-14) would cost about $30 billion each. For both plans,

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  • Transit Advocates to Storm Albany for MTA Action

    riders fix the subway sign

    (photo: @RidersNY)


    With the “summer of hell” in the past and sustained heat on Governor Andrew Cuomo to fix the long-neglected subway system, one of New York City’s most prominent straphanger advocacy groups will travel to Albany to demand action from Cuomo and the state Legislature.

    Riders Alliance members will go to the state capital on Monday, February 12, to rally, garner media attention, and meet with lawmakers, hoping to push Cuomo and the Legislature to pass a new long-term funding mechanism for repairing, maintaining, and

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