Testimony: 100,000 NYS Jobs at Stake with Congestion Pricing Cancellation

Testimony to MTA Board

Re: Canceling Congestion Pricing Puts More Than 100,000 New York Jobs at Risk
June 26, 2024

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. We thank the MTA Board and staff for their public service, and recognize that you are under considerable pressure due to the Governor’s congestion pricing pause. 

As covered by the New York Times this morning, Reinvent Albany published updated interactive maps of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) direct spending, which show the MTA paid $35 billion to tri-state area vendors from 2014 to 2023. 

Unfortunately, our analysis also found that Governor Hochul’s “indefinite pause” of the MTA’s congestion pricing program puts more than 100,000 jobs in New York State at risk. While most MTA capital plan work is done by private contractors, our prior analyses found that about $3 billion, or 21% of the $15 billion raised by congestion pricing, would support in-house capital work conducted by MTA workers, and Governor Hochul has also put their union jobs at risk.

The economic reach of the MTA is vast, and our analysis shows that companies doing business with the MTA are present in every single congressional district in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Additionally, 100% of NYS Senate and 98% of NYS Assembly districts have local companies that do business with the MTA.  

The Governor’s pause of congestion pricing risks good paying jobs because there is no viable or realistic source of funding to replace congestion pricing.  In just a few short months from now, the MTA Board by law must approve the 2025-2029 MTA Capital Plan, which will also have vast revenue needs for state of good repair projects that will keep the system from falling apart.

The Governor must flip the switch on congestion pricing, because there is far too much at stake. Beyond the 100,000 NYS jobs that will be lost, the damages are becoming increasingly clear to the MTA’s finances and therefore its ability to provide the reliable public transit service that is essential to our regional economy. As the State Comptroller’s Office noted, there are no good options for the MTA to manage the hole created by the lack of congestion pricing revenues. Thank you for your consideration.

Click here to view the testimony as a PDF.