Save Congestion Pricing

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced an intention to "indefinitely pause" the scheduled rollout of congestion pricing on June 30.

Your voice is urgently needed to stand up for a funded MTA with increased accessibility, a healthy planet, and good government in New York. Stop a $15 billion disaster and take action today!

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Congestion pricing will provide $15 billion in badly-needed funding for infrastructure improvements to the subway and other MTA projects. The state legislature passed the congestion pricing law years ago, and the program is set to begin on June 30.

New Yorkers need the original congestion pricing program to fund these transit improvements. We cannot let Gridlock Governor Kathy Hochul's reckless actions burden us with decades more of congestion and bad air quality. Her proposed plan to find an alternative funding source unjustly places the cost burden on hardworking, transit-riding New Yorkers.

Latest news

As of Monday, July 1: Congestion pricing was supposed to go into effect this weekend but did not. Last Wednesday, the MTA board voted to acknowledge that they could not start congestion pricing without the governor's approval. The meeting started with a record-breaking amount of public testimony, almost all in favor, though the resolution on the table was ultimately not about the actual merits of congestion pricing or its pause. MTA chair Janno Lieber and two other senior leaders from their Construction and Development department gave a presentation at the board meeting detailing exactly what the loss of the revenue stream would mean for the MTA, well worth watching (and seemingly aimed at the general public as much as at board members).

There has so far been no news about a lawsuit being filed by the NYC Comptroller or anyone else challenging the congestion pricing pause.

Neither Gov. Hochul nor any of her allies have produced a concrete suggestion for an alternative source of funding. The State Comptroller released a statement entitled "NO GOOD OPTIONS FOR MTA TO MANAGE HOLE IN CAPITAL FUNDING", and nobody has yet proved him wrong.

Older news

Thursday, June 20: A federal judge has ruled that the congestion pricing program does not violate the National Environmental Policy Act. This past winter, three lawsuits were filed claiming that congestion pricing was unlawful or unconstitutional. The primary claim in all of them was a violation of NEPA, to which the judge said, "According to Plaintiffs, the NEPA review process here—which spanned four years and yielded an administrative record of more than 45,000 pages—did not amount to a ‘hard look’ at the environmental implications of Congestion Pricing. In light of Defendants’ meticulous analysis, the Court cannot agree."

The plaintiffs can still pursue their additional claims about constitutionality (that congestion pricing violates a right to travel, or is overstepping state authority, or violates the NY Green Amendment), but dismissal of the NEPA claims is a significant victory for congestion pricing.

Last week, the MTA and the Federal Highway Administration posted the final "re-evaluation" of congestion pricing under NEPA. These documents confirm that the previous Environmental Assessment and Finding Of No Significant Impact remain accurate on the eve of the program; in fact, they find that the negative impacts will be lower than previously estimated. While this step was already in progress before Hochul's announcement and is not directly a response, it does indicate that both the MTA and the federal government remain prepared to implement congestion pricing on the 30th as planned.

Janno Lieber, chair of the MTA, gave a press conference on June 10 describing the significant negative effects of the loss of budget - and thanking you for your vocal defense of the MTA budget and the congestion pricing program.

As of Friday evening, June 7: The state senate did not adopt any of Hochul's alternative schemes for financing the MTA before the end of the legislative session. Hochul gave a weirdly defensive press conference explaining that she needed to protect New Jersey customers of Midtown diners and hardware stores, and insisting that she did reach an agreement with the legislature to figure out some source of funding (other than congestion pricing). Of course, this alleged handshake agreement is not an actual source of funding, and the MTA CFO and general counsel have put out a statement saying they will need to make serious cuts to planned projects, including ADA improvements.

Congestion pricing is still the law of the state, largely because of how many people contacted their state senators, but to go into effect, it requires a federal process that requires the state executive branch to sign. While there is some legal uncertainty here about whether the governor has any discretion here at all, the most straightforward path is convincing the governor before June 30 that ordinary New Yorkers care about seeing congestion pricing happen.

Friday, June 7, 6 PM: The state senate will adjourn without accepting any of Hochul's schemes. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says, "I don't see that as of this point today," and "I will not be back tomorrow."

Several more senators have now made statements against Hochul's half-baked alternatives, including from Deputy Leader Mike Gianaris and from Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal who represents the west side of Manhattan and has heard your calls and messages loud and clear.

Friday, June 7, 2 PM: Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie is trying to get his colleagues to vote for Hochul's plan as if she had already paused congestion pricing as a given. "That's been decided already," he says, even though it is the opposite of what the Assembly decided. "The plan is to be here late into tonight."

Friday, June 7, 12:30 PM: Senate Democrats still have no bill text and no agreement to go along with the Governor's plan. Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of the legislative session.

Jon Campbell, WNYC/Gothamist: Senate Democrats just broke from a closed-door meeting and refused to speak en masse. Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris says (somewhat ominously?) the next statement on congestion pricing will come from Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Friday, June 7, 9:45 AM: There are reports of senators who have previously said they suppprt congestion pricing but are considering going along with the governor's last-minute alternative anyway.

Dave Colon, Streetsblog: I have been told that among the Senators who are going to vote for the governor's mystery proposal that maybe kinda says one day the MTA can have a billion dollars is State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who has been a supporter of congestion pricing in the past.

Some activists have reported similar sentiments from other legislators, such as Sen. Brian Kavanagh. When you call, be specific in your comment - "Congestion pricing or bust!"

We have still not seen any bill text.

Friday, June 7, 7 AM: Sen. Liz Krueger, finance committee chair, writes in the Daily News that Hochul's last-minute plan is illegal. Notably: "The governor has stated that she has a billion dollars available to replace congestion pricing as a funding source for this year, but as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I am not aware of any such funds, and she has not given the Legislature any indication of their location."
Sen. Michael Gianaris, deputy majority leader, has not heard a coherent plan either.
We are waiting for the Senate to resume session at 11 AM.

Thursday, June 6, 11:15 PM: A last-minute deal is still on the table for tomorrow morning. Senate leadership is still trying to whip votes, and won't call a vote "tonight" but might call one in a couple of hours.

Thursday, June 6, 9:30 PM: The governor is trying to get the legislature to agree to a last-minute deal to commit one billion dollars of state funds per year instead.

Jon Campbell, WNYC/Gothamist: Hearing this measure is set to include language that pledges $1b a year for 15 years to back the MTA’s bonds, but doesn’t identify a source. The payroll tax hike is dead dead. Assembly whipping votes now; Senate discussing, too.

Dave Colon, Streetsblog: Multiple legislative sources say that Governor Hochul’s new offer to law makers is to raid the general fund for up to a billion dollars to patch up the capital plan, and then to find a congestion pricing revenue replacement when legislators come back in 2025

Reinvent Albany: Fact check: 2019 congestion pricing law says CP must raise net revenue of $15B for MTA 2020-2024 capital plan + allows MTA to do CP. That $15B comes from bonding CP tolls for 25/30 years = rev in unbreakable lock box. This is NOT the same as $1B from general fund, which the state can reneg on at anytime

Bernadette Hogan, NY1: New: Source says the legislature is expected vote on a bill as soon as tonight that would commit $1B in state funding for the MTA. Legislature and gov are working towards a deal. Money would come from general fund/bonded out - still unclear.

Thursday, June 6, 4 PM: The governor's proposal for an increased payroll tax has been rejected by the state senate. Politico has a full report on the rejection, and Gothamist has details on the moribund proposal to significantly increase NYC payroll taxes, which was, unsurprisingly, unpopular with local businesses.

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This website is created by volunteer NYC residents to provide information about this rapidly-changing news and the organizations that are fighting to save congestion pricing. It is not affiliated with any specific organization. If you have ideas for things to add or change, you can reach out to @geofft or @lizdenys on Twitter or suggest changes on GitHub.