Reinvent Albany Statement on Congestion Pricing Recommendations

MTA Board Should Approve Panel’s Toll Recommendations, Continuously Refine Pricing Based on Public, Open Data and Continual Monitoring

Reinvent Albany thanks the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) for proposing a workable tolling structure to implement congestion pricing in New York City. We urge the MTA Board to move quickly to approve the recommendations, hold required hearings, and implement the program.

We appreciate the TMRB’s efforts to keep toll, credit, and exemption recommendations simple and easily understood by the public during the start-up phase. The panel’s recommendations are pragmatic and include a flat $2.50 per ride toll for app-based for-hire vehicles (Uber and Lyft), an increase over the base amount initially discussed by the TMRB. We strongly agree with the Environmental Assessment that it is crucial for the MTA to continually monitor and assess how well congestion pricing is reducing traffic delays and generating revenue, and regularly modify the program so it achieves the best possible results. We emphasize that a core part of this ongoing improvement should be publishing traffic, air quality, and revenue data as open data

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. We have provided detailed analyses of the following additional benefits of congestion pricing:

  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. Congestion pricing will create tens of thousands of local jobs throughout NYS. From 2014 to 2022, the MTA directly paid $26 billion to its vendors located in communities across New York State, largely from its capital programs, as shown on our interactive webpage.
  3. The MTA paid New Jersey companies $3.3 billion from 2014-2022 for goods and services for capital construction projects and other needs. Overall, NJ ranks second of all states for MTA spending on outside vendors.