Congestion Pricing - An Explainer Page
What Everyone Needs to Know
New Yorkers Against Congestion Pricing Tax (NYACPT), a coalition of residents from diverse neighborhoods around New York City, have initiated a lawsuit to demand that New York State perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to show the real impacts of Congestion Pricing on our communities.
The Federal Government approved New York’s rushed and incomplete Environmental Assessment Statement rather than requiring New York State agencies and the MTA to complete the more intensive and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement. Therefore, we are bringing a lawsuit that contests the Federal Government’s approval of Congestion Pricing that was based on an Environmental Assessment Statement rather than the more thorough Environmental Impact Statement which would include the three E’s: Environmental Effects, Economic Hardship and Equity.
1. Rerouting traffic patterns will increase air pollution in other areas occupied by fixed and low-income residents such as those living near the Cross Bronx Expressway and the FDR portion next to the destroyed East River Park.
2. The hunt for parking will increase around many transit stations throughout the city, resulting in more congestion, noise and increased air pollution in those neighborhoods outside the Central Business District.
3. NYC DOT has reduced parking places and City Planning has proposed to eliminate parking from new construction, placing more pressure on local residents and businesses.
4. The EAS already identified that there will be increased air pollution in some areas like the underserved communities with high asthma rates along the FDR and in Battery Park City but offered no remedies to address it.
5. No other solutions were sought or identified to reduce car congestion in the already heavily trafficked areas in Lower Manhattan such as Broome Street or Grand Street.
1. The cost of all goods and services will rise with additional fees added to truck deliveries. Many small business owners such as funeral homes and bodegas testified at the MTA public hearings in August 2022 that they will pass the increased cost due to congestion tax on to their customers. Families that are already struggling will pay more for goods and services to absorb the increased costs.
2. Tourism will decrease with the additional cost to enter the Central Business District. This will hurt the entertainment industry as well as the nightlife industry (restaurant & hospitality businesses) and areas that depend on tourism such as Chinatown, Little Italy, World Trade Center and the iconic Times Square. Midtown and downtown already have many empty storefronts, struggling restaurants and hospitality businesses. The City is still recovering from the pandemic and this will further impede recovery.
3. Congestion pricing will further obstruct the return of office workers and businesses. The loss of corporate businesses and office workers throughout Midtown and the Financial District negatively impacts local services, small businesses including restaurants, shops and entertainment.
1. Many residents who live in the Central Business District are of fixed, low and moderate income. They will have to pay this tax either leaving and re-entering the Central Business District to perform their jobs, to run errands or doctor visits that are reliant on a vehicle. This regressive tax will impede visits from friends and relatives. The many seniors in the area will face further isolation.
2. The Medical Mile which boasts Bellevue Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital, the VA Hospital and Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital and their medical offices as well as other hospitals’ medical offices, are based in the Central Business District. Those who need to travel for medical needs or because they need a car due to a disability will have to pay the tax. It will also hurt the many hospital workers who travel by car due to off hour working schedules.
3. City Workers such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, sanitation workers, MTA workers, who rely on vehicles to perform their job in and outside of the CBD were not exempted, so they have to pay like the rest of us.
4. The United Nations, Courts, City Hall, and Federal and New York State government offices are located within the Central Business District.
*Throughout the City there is deep mistrust of the MTA’s fiscal stewardship. Calls for an in-depth audit have been ignored. There are already additional taxes to fund the MTA included in our utility bills and in taxi rides. NY State and New York City legislators have not instituted any accountability measures on how MTA uses these income streams.
*If the Congestion Pricing Tax is successful at reducing the number of cars on the streets of Manhattan at rush hour, then the MTA will be forced to either raise the congestion pricing fees and/or expand the Congestion Pricing Zone to meet the New York State mandate of $1 billion revenue a year.
*Additionally, there is no built-in accountability or transparency of the cost to implement this program or how long it would take to recoup those costs. There is no mention of evaluating its success in meeting its goals, once the program is in effect. Everyone wants transportation that is clean, efficient, safe and accessible, but the current Congestion Pricing structure is not the way to achieve these goals.
Don’t sit back and let this happen, get involved in this grassroots action, join us now!
For More Information:
New Yorkers Against Congestion Pricing Tax is the legal entity for the Coalition in Opposition to Congestion Pricing.