Watchdog Testimony: Congestion Pricing Will Boost MTA Labor Force; Recommends $3 FHV Toll with NYC Cap Increase

Testimony to MTA Board

Good morning. I am Rachael Fauss, Senior Policy Advisor for Reinvent Albany. We advocate for more transparent and accountable New York government, including for authorities like the MTA.   

Reinvent Albany strongly supports congestion pricing because it’s the law, and has been shown globally to reduce motor vehicle congestion, air pollution, and travel times, and will raise $15 billion to restore and improve transit. Our new analysis details congestion pricing’s big benefits to the MTA’s in-house labor force. Our main findings are:

  1. MTA workers doing in-house capital work will get $3.2 billion of the $15 billion congestion pricing is required to raise for the MTA’s 2020-2024 capital plan. 
  2. Over the last 16 years, the MTA’s in-house labor force has gotten $17.5 billion of the $83.5 billion spent on capital projects, like those to be funded by congestion pricing.

Additionally on congestion pricing, in light of New York City’s decision to remove the cap on electric for-hire vehicles (FHVs), we recommend the MTA assess a higher congestion pricing fee on FHVs. We urge the MTA to adopt a minimum daytime toll of at least $3 per FHV trip. This is more than the additional daytime per-ride toll of $1.50 to $2.75 considered by the Traffic Mobility Review board. The City’s decision to remove the cap on electric FHVs radically changes the equation and risks producing significant new traffic congestion unless the streets are properly priced.  

Thank you for your consideration.

Click here to view the testimony as a PDF.