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MTA resets priorities after pause in congestion pricing, while Governor’s schedule includes auto-industry lobby fundraiser

June 10, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CITYWIDE — THE METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY (MTA) BROKE ITS SILENCE concerning Governor Kathy Hochul’s surprise announcement last week to pause the implementation of congestion pricing and announced that it is deprioritizing certain projects, reports Crain’s New York Business. The tolling plan would have established a fee structure for vehicles entering the city on local streets and avenues south of 60th Street, with some exemptions and discounts. The loss of projected revenue resulting from the suspension of the plans taking effect on June 30 has led the MTA to prioritize essential maintenance and deprioritize others, such as ADA improvements and the Interborough Express light rail to connect Brooklyn and Queens. The MTA also issued a statement after some of its board members mulled overruling the governor: “New York State law places an obligation on MTA to implement a congestion pricing program, and the agency stands ready to do so. But under applicable federal law and regulation, the MTA cannot act until the Central Business District Tolling Program is approved by New York State, New York City and the federal government – and with the announcement of the pause, we no longer have the State’s consent.”

The Crain’s article reported that although the governor emphasized the pause on congestion pricing is temporary, she is scheduled to take part in a fundraiser next week that the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, a lobby group for car dealers, is hosting. The tolling plan aimed to reduce the number of vehicles in Manhattan by at least ten thousand.

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