NYC congestion pricing delay raises advocates’ concerns about MTA service

NYC congestion pricing delay raises advocates’ concerns about MTA service

Congestion tolls deliberate for Manhattan beneath sixtieth Road usually are not slated to occur till the top of subsequent yr — and transit advocates fear that the delay will impression desperately wanted MTA upgrades.

Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature permitted the tolling plan in 2019, with the objective of funding the $55 billion MTA modernization program that’s purported to lead to extra dependable and frequent trains, along with dozens of latest elevators and 1000’s of latest electrical buses to the area.

Initially scheduled to launch in 2021, this system has stalled due to bureaucratic delays on the federal degree — most just lately, an in-depth environmental evaluation anticipated to take 16 months or longer. Transit watchers are rising more and more involved.

“Congestion pricing is the only largest supply of funding within the MTA’s capital program,” stated Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein.

“With out it, they gained’t be capable to improve as many indicators or set up as many elevators.”

But Gov. Kathy Hochul, who inherited the toll plan from her predecessor, has not appeared wanting to launch new charges in an election yr, regardless of site visitors having returned to pre-COVID ranges.

Hochul insisted throughout Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial major debate that she “helps” the plan, however that “now will not be the suitable time” for it to launch.

“We’ve been in negotiation with the federal authorities, who’ve a say on the following step and so they have now put some hurdles in the way in which we’ve got to beat,” Hochul stated — a reference to the 400-plus questions US DOT has instructed the MTA to reply about the plan.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul isn’t pushing onerous to launch new charges in an election yr.
Andrew Schwartz / SplashNews.com
Long island railroad construction
Advocates are nervous MTA upgrades will proceed to be delayed.
Andrew Schwartz / SplashNews.com

“This isn’t going to occur within the subsequent yr beneath any circumstances.”

MTA officers have stated they don’t want the cash from the tolls instantly. On Wednesday, the authority issued a press release that it was “absolutely dedicated to congestion pricing.”

“We have now been vocal about the significance of this program,” MTA spokesman John McCarthy stated in a press release.

Andrew Rein of the Residents Funds Fee stated that the MTA ought to be capable to fund building by this yr and subsequent, however delays past that create actual dangers.

“In some unspecified time in the future, within the subsequent few years, the shortage of congestion pricing cash will threaten the flexibility of the MTA to do the capital repairs it wants: We want stations, we want indicators, we want rolling inventory,” Rein stated.

“In the end, they want that cash to repair the subways.”

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