Op-ed: Congestion pricing remains the best way forward

June 25, 2024


New York Daily News
By John Durso, Elizabeth Velez, Carl Weisbrod and Kathryn Wylde

Whatever the motivation to delay implementation of congestion pricing, the reasons advanced for doing so do not comport with the facts as we know them.

As four of the six members of the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB), established by legislation to recommend the structure and implementation of congestion pricing, we had the opportunity to pore over thousands of pages of data, listen to 550 speakers at public hearings, examine several thousand more written comments, and peruse extensive public documents.

Our job was to ensure that our recommendations would help, not harm, the region’s economy and its environment.

Here’s what we found:

Congestion pricing will help revitalize our economy and reduce costs of living and doing business in the region, Gov. Hochul’s and Mayor Adams’ own blueprint for revitalizing our central business districts — their highly touted New New York plan — called for congestion pricing as an important action to counter any residual negative impact of the pandemic.

The Partnership for New York City’s 2018 study determined that excess congestion costs more than $20 billion a year. Failure to move forward with MTA capital improvements that will be funded by toll revenues risks the loss of thousands of union jobs. In its final approval of congestion pricing, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) found net economic benefits from congestion pricing through travel-time savings, reliability improvements, and reduced vehicle operating costs.