Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus Statement on Federal Approval of Congestion Pricing in New York City
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Mike Lawler (NY-17), and Tom Kean Jr. (NJ-07), members of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus, released the following statement regarding the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) tentative approval of New York City’s Congestion Pricing Program that would charge drivers an additional $23 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street.
“It’s disappointing to see the U.S Department of Transportation help the MTA fleece the families of New York and New Jersey with this costly program without requiring a full and thorough Environmental Impact Statement to learn the plan’s true impact on residents, commuters, tourism, and small businesses. By the MTA’s own admission, the Congestion Tax plan would actually increase air pollution and harm our environment.
“We know that the Congestion Pricing would have a minimal impact on reducing emissions as it only shifts traffic from higher-income, more urbanized areas to lower-income, more vulnerable communities. The fact that the MTA and FHWA are jamming this through without conducting the proper evaluations shows just how unpopular and politicized this scheme has become. We will be evaluating our options, both legislative and legal, to protect the residents of our communities from this blatant cash grab, and urge the public to voice their opposition to this scam over the next 30 days.”
On Friday, the FHWA issued a “Letter of Legal Sufficiency” to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), after reviewing the proposal’s environmental and legal impact. The letter triggers a 30-day public comment period where individuals can review the MTA’s Environmental Assessment. It is expected that after this period the FHWA will give its final stamp of approval with hopes of beginning the program in spring 2024.
The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus has introduced the Make Transportation Authorities Accountable and Transparent Act which would require the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a full audit of the MTA to see how it spent billions in federal assistance, along with Economic Impact of Tolling Act that would require a thorough economic impact analysis to provide more transparency to the public and policymakers about the potential consequences congestion pricing would have on workers, residents, and businesses.
Banner Image: Congestion pricing in NYC. Image Credit – Chris Barbalis