New Yorkers chime in on MTA’s new congestion pricing plan
With the MTA’s new congestion pricing plan recently revealed, New Yorkers made sure their voices were heard tonight at the first public hearing.
Nearly 400 speakers signed up to speak in Thursday night’s hearing, with many in favor of the MTA’s new plan. But, some feel as though this will have a negative impact, especially with tourism.
The new tolling program aims to reduce traffic congestion in Manhattan’s Central Business District by enforcing a daily toll for vehicles who are entering or remaining in the district, which is 60th Street and below across Manhattan.
The MTA says that detection points would be placed at exit and entrance points throughout the district, with drivers having the option to pay via EzPass, tolls by mail, or a third-party provider.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis believes that more studies need to be done on congestion pricing’s potential impact before a decision is made.
“I do believe this program is being jammed down the throats of the people that I represent,” said Malliotakis. “I think that there's more time and transparency that is needed to ensure that the consequences of this program are understood before its implementation."
The MTA’s environmental review says that the Bronx and Staten Island will actually see more traffic with this new plan.
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso is in favor of the plan, saying that it is long overdue.
“The policy has been a long time coming more than 15 years in fact and I'm very happy to see it finally moving forward,” said Reynoso. “Implementation of this program is even more dire now with car ownership in New York City up over 200% due to pandemic."
There are five more scheduled hearings on congestion pricing, with the next one set for Saturday, and the final hearing on Wednesday.