NYLCV Statement on MTA Board’s Vote to Scale Back Capital Projects and Other System Improvements Following Congestion Pricing Pause

On yet another air quality alert day and a moment when New Yorkers should be days away from feeling the benefits of congestion pricing and the MTA should be gearing up for a multitude of capital projects, today we instead saw the MTA Board compelled to initiate a retreat on system improvements and electric bus purchases, while city residents can expect the same poor air quality and the same gridlocked streets. Because congestion pricing isn’t just about money for the MTA – and we can’t drive our way out of the climate crisis. 

As confirmed recently by the federal government and a federal judge, the approved tolling structure has been exhaustively studied and is both an environmental and economic winner. By infusing the MTA with funds to increase access to mass transit and improve the ride for millions of daily commuters, congestion pricing will incentivize people to get out of their cars and onto trains, subways, and buses. It will also reduce climate emissions and the filthy air pollution that is driving up asthma rates, while transforming New York City’s streetscape into a more pedestrian- and business-friendly destination. 

The governor, the MTA, the MTA Board, and the people of New York all want to see these benefits. The only question is when. With billions of dollars, 100,000 jobs, and the city’s air quality on the line, the answer should be now.