Thursday, June 6, 2024

Congestion pricing is dead

 The Village Sun

 Bowing to political pressure and in the face of numerous lawsuits, Governor Hochul on Wednesday declared that the Manhattan congestion pricing plan is on an “indefinite pause.”

“After careful consideration I have come to the difficult decision that implementing the planned congestion pricing system risks too many unintended consequences,” Hochul said. “I have directed the M.T.A. to indefinitely pause the program.”

The Metropolitan Transportation’s traffic-tolling plan was set to start later this month on June 30. It would have walloped car drivers with a $15 once-a-day fee for driving into Manhattan south of 60th Street ($3.75 during off-peak hours) — and trucks with repeated fees of $24 to $36 for each time they entered the zone.

However, the scheme faced eight lawsuits, with plaintiffs ranging from New Jersey, to the teachers union to Chinatown merchants and Lower East Side residents, all of whom said the plan’s financial impact would be unfair and onerous. Among the top arguments was that a comprehensive environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., for the sweeping, first-in-the-nation plan was shockingly never done.

Retired judge and former Councilmember Kathryn Freed, who lives on the Lower East Side and is a plaintiff on a class-action lawsuit against congestion pricing, has become a sort of poster person for the opposition. Yet, she described her reaction to the plan’s shelving as “mixed.”

“I’m not one of the people who’s crazy pro-car or whatever,” she said. “The whole thing is a mess. I don’t know what Hochul was waiting for — it was massively unpopular.”

Indeed, according to a recent Siena College survey, 63 percent of New Yorkers statewide and 64 percent of Big Apple residents oppose the Manhattan congestion pricing plan, with opposition in the suburbs even higher at 72 percent. Fourteen percent said they would not come to Manhattan as often due to the toll.

At the urging of then-Governor Cuomo, the state Legislature passed congestion pricing into law five years ago, with the target of raising a total of $15 billion — at a clip of $1 billion per year — for the constantly cash-poor transit agency.



Anonymous said...

It’s an election year.
For a minute I thought Governor Eyebrows was making a rational decision.
NY Democrats once again try to fool and lie to the American people.

Anonymous said...

That's great news. Now abolish the bus lanes, the bike lanes etc. which caused the congestion in the first place. Also fire the entire MTA Board, all of 'em! Start over again...

Anonymous said...

It's a political vulnerability what the layman would call a complete failure !

Anonymous said...

This congestion pricing pause is nothing more than an election year scam.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that the issue of congestion pricing will pop up again after the November election. I will only cast my vote for candidates who have always been against congestion pricing. That means voting mostly for Republican

Anonymous said...

The big problem with incompetence is it's inability to recognize itself.

Joe said...

I think it was all bullshit from the start to get a Trojan called license plate scanners up and installed.
Question is now what will they be used for and who will control all that real-time data, cookies, ultra high definition video and imaging.
That equipment was insane expensive and complex with all the proprietary hardware, networks hubs, switches fiber optics, you can bet they will not dismantle it.

And 2: Who will all this info when activated be sold and shared with, and what for?
Insurance company's, marketing, facial recognition, endless possibility's one can not think of yet. .
This type of data is very valuable and you can bet it will be cached in servers someplace.
Since driving is a licensed privilege not a RIGHT they can say "F_ck your rights we do what we want, no public vote, public input, opinion, nothing!!!


Anonymous said...

Yeah congestion pricing is dead for now but now hochul wants to raise taxes In nyc. But the city gets what they deserve since they put the communist Kathy hochul into office while most of the state voted against her

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the car totalitarians will be happy, for a while.

Anonymous said...

Great News for the Sheeple !