In a report released today, the Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization, expressed reservations with a congestion pricing plan called MoveNY. The report concludes that, while congestion pricing is something New York City should seriously explore, the benefits of MoveNY are open to question and depend on actions and investments by state and local government. The Partnership recommends that the plan’s projected revenue, congestion reduction totals, and economic impact be further studied and validated by public agencies. The Partnership reached this conclusion with the support of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which convened a panel of experts to review and assess the proposal at the Partnership’s request.
“MoveNY is a thoughtful step toward implementing congestion pricing, but more work is needed before the business community can get fully behind it,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “The Partnership is supportive of efforts to reduce traffic congestion, but there are gaps and flaws in this plan that must be addressed. We encourage the state and the city to conduct additional studies, and we are committed to providing private sector support for that effort.”
“While the MoveNY plan is a promising effort to address the city’s growing transportation challenges, it is only one aspect of a larger solution needed in an urban planning and transportation framework,” said Kaan Ozbay, Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress and Tandon School of Engineering.
The report identifies a number of elements of MoveNY that need more input and analysis:
- Road and Transit Demand – A more sophisticated evaluation of the demands that will be placed on the existing road and transit systems due to potential changes in commuting patterns and traffic routing is needed.
- Transit Impact — A regional transit impact assessment study is required to determine how the MTA and other systems would accommodate increased demand
- Freight Impact — MoveNY needs a clear plan for management of urban freight movement, including shipping, deliveries and service calls and hardship provisions.
- Revenue and Cost — There is a need for a comprehensive, third party analysis of the anticipated revenue and cost estimates, including the impact on Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority toll collections
- Economic Impact – Job creation estimates should be backed by a rigorous study of the regional economic impact on employment, businesses, and the value of the time of commuters.
The report also identifies a number of barriers that could stand in the way of effective implementation of the plan. For example, MoveNY does not address in detail the impact of emerging transportation technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles, open road toll collection, e-hailing applications, and Internet deliveries. It also does not clearly define roles and responsibilities of various state and local agencies in planning and implementation of a complex, multi-agency initiative.
In 2007, the Partnership endorsed a congestion pricing plan put forward by the Bloomberg Administration, however the plan failed to get necessary support from the Governor and the State Legislature for a number of reasons: uncertainty about how much net revenue the pricing plan would actually generate for expanding mass transit; the inadequacy of public transportation options in parts of the region that force people into cars; the impact of additional tolls on business delivery and service costs; and potential decline in MTA and Port Authority revenues that could result from additional congestion charges.
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About the Partnership for New York City:
The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers. We work with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to promote economic growth and maintain the city’s prominence as a global center of commerce and innovation. Through the Partnership Fund for New York City, the Partnership contributes directly to projects that create jobs, improve economically distressed communities and stimulate new business creation.
About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress:
CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New York University with a consortium of world-class universities and the foremost international technology companies to address the needs of cities. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world. This research will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics”. For more news and information on CUSP, please visit http://cusp.nyu.edu/.