Nearly 120 Elected Officials and Groups Send Letter to Gov Hochul Opposing Congestion Pricing Delay


June 28, 2024

The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Hochul,

We write in strong opposition to your last-minute attempt to delay congestion pricing. As a coalition of almost 120 organizations and elected officials, we represent the interests of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.  We state unequivocally that delaying congestion pricing will endanger the City’s future, the region’s future, and indeed the future of the State of New York. You must turn on the program on June 30th, as is the law.

Delaying congestion pricing will negatively impact millions of New Yorkers who rely on public transportation every day – as well as businesses and the health and wellbeing of our city and region as a whole. Any delay will result in the continued overflow of congestion on our streets, hurting businesses, workers, and their families; worsen delays for emergency vehicles and response; maintain the deadly status quo of asthma, pollution, and traffic crashes; leave low-income New Yorkers and parents who rely on our bus system in greatest proportion stuck in endless traffic; hurt our ability to reach New York’s climate goals; and deprive our transit system of billions of dollars in essential reliability and accessibility upgrades. 

Without congestion pricing, the MTA will have to significantly shrink the current capital program, squeeze its operating budget by being forced to borrow money at a higher cost earlier – making more drastic fare increases likely, and inevitably make service cuts that affect the mobility of every New Yorker. It also calls into question the anticipated increases in service on several subway and bus lines that have been promised to start this summer.  A decades-long legacy of underfunding and neglect left our public transit system hanging by a thread, resulting in the decay of the 1970s and the Summer of Hell in 2017. With a congestion pricing pause, we are again facing a death spiral of increased delays and outright failures of the system that millions of working people rely on every day. Janno Lieber, CEO and Chairman of the MTA, said the agency would need to prioritize “basic stuff to make sure the system doesn’t fall apart.” 

We are now at grave risk of not seeing improvements that are critical to delivering a 21st-century transit system for our 21st-century region and that are standard in cities around the world. This includes upgraded signals to increase reliability and frequency and allow for increased service; new rolling stock – including hundreds of electric buses and depot modernization; dozens of elevator and other key accessibility projects across the MTA service area, including subways, the LIRR and Metro-North stations – which will cause a cascading effect on transit accessibility in the future;  and key safety upgrades. This is unacceptable.

Congestion pricing is more than just a funding system for the MTA – it’s a critical policy to improve the streetscape of New York City and the public health of all New Yorkers. There are more drivers in New York than pre-pandemic, and a recent report by the Regional Plan Association and Sam Schwartz shows that traffic is the slowest on record. Traffic congestion has long clogged our streets, slowing private automobiles, emergency vehicles, and city buses to a crawl, preventing safe biking and walking, and costing workers, families, and businesses $20 billion each year.  Every day, there are also preventable crashes in the congestion relief zone – with someone killed or seriously injured every 36 hours – and we know that serious injuries and deaths plummeted by over 25% after congestion pricing was implemented in London. 

Crashes are also not the only danger that congestion pricing would address. In New York City, PM2.5 air pollution annually results in more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for heart and lung problems, and roughly 6,000 emergency room visits for asthma in children and adults. Cars entering the zone fill the air with dangerous particulate matter that pollutes our bodies and sets back our fight against climate change. Delaying congestion pricing will negatively impact New York City for decades to come – and specifically harm New Yorkers with disabilities, with respiratory illnesses, who rely on the bus, who are aging in place, who are not white, who are parents of young children, and who are working class and middle class – but particularly those with lower incomes. 

Congestion pricing is an effective policy tool to fight many of the biggest issues our region is facing – it is also the law of New York State and must be implemented on June 30th. We cannot afford to wait. 


Natural Resources Defense Council
Jobs to Move America
New York Building Congress
Evergreen Action
Environmental Advocates of New York
Southeast Bronx Community Council
El Puente
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York
Transit app
Food and Water Watch
Disabled In Action
New York League of Conservation Voters
America Walks
Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
New York Communities for Change (NYCC)
Four Freedoms Democratic Club
Court Square Civic Association
The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
Democratic Socialists of America, New York – Eco Socialist Working Group
Move NY
Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC)
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Reinvent Albany
Riders Alliance
Regional Plan Association
Transportation Alternatives
Families for Safe Streets
Bike South Brooklyn
Bike New York
Make Queens Safer
Open Plans
Center for an Urban Future
Neighbors for A Safer Austin Street
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
Eastern Queens Greenway
KALM Living
Brooklyn Spoke Media
Street Plans, Inc.
Design Trust for Public Space
Five Boro Bike Tour
New Yorkers for Parks
Friends of Cooper Park
Revolution Rickshaws
It’s Easy Being Green
Make McGuinness Safe
Gehl Studio
Kidical Mass NYC
Make Brooklyn Safer
Right of Way
Bicycle Habitat
UP Global
League of American Bicyclists
Harlem River Working Group
Robert M Cohn Consulting Services
Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH)
Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de New York
Geraldine Bryant (Neighborhood Organization)
Bike Hoboken
Buro Happold
B.R.A.K.E.S. (Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe)
Staten Island Therapeutic Gardens
Bait-ul Jamaal House of Community
Everything Goes Cafe
Makerspace NYC
Forest Hills Green Team
Dance Rising NYC
Project for Public Spaces
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid
Hudson County Complete Streets
Park Avenue Block Association
WXY architecture + urban design
Sixth Street Community Center
Kids and Car Safety
Bay Ridge Environmental Group
Major Taylor Iron Riders
Bike JC
Institute for Rational Urban Mobility
Ridgewood Rides
Bike North Bergen

New York City Comptroller, Brad Lander
United States Representative Jerrold Nadler, NY-12
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
Councilmember Crystal Hudson, District 35
Councilmember Julie Won, District 26
Councilmember Lincoln Restler, District 33
Councilmember Shahana Hanif, District 39
Councilmember Sandy Nurse, District 37
Councilmember Alexa Aviles, District 38
Councilmember Tiffany Caban, District 22
Councilmember Erik Bottcher, District 3
Assemblymember Robert Carroll, District 44
Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, District 50
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, District 74
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, District 67
Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, District 51
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, District 52
Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, District 34
Assemblymember Tony Simone, District 75
Assemblymember Souffrant Forrest, District 57
Assemblymember Juan Ardila, District 37
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, District 12
Senator Zellnor Myrie, District 20
Senator Jabari Brisport, District 25
Senator Julia Salazar, District 18
Senator Andrew Gounardes, District 26
Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, District 47
Senator Jessica Ramos, District 13
Senator Gustavo Rivera, District 33

CC: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie; NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; NYC Congressional Delegation; New York City Mayor Eric Adams; New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams; MTA leadership

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