June 5, 2024
Albany, NY

What They Are Saying: Governor Hochul Announces Pause on Congestion Pricing to Address the Rising Cost of Living in New York

What They Are Saying: Governor Hochul Announces Pause on Congestion Pricing to Address the Rising Cost of Living in New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today addressed New Yorkers on affordability and the cost of living and directed the MTA to indefinitely pause congestion pricing to avoid added burdens to working- and middle-class families.

State Senator Monica R. Martinez said, “I applaud the decision by Governor Hochul to hit the brakes by indefinitely placing a pause on the implementation of congestion pricing and the toll it would have on our Long Island residents. Though I recognize and support the need to reduce emissions for the health of our region, this goal must not be achieved by driving residents, businesses, and workers out of the city. I hope this pause will allow time to switch gears toward a more workable solution for Manhattan's traffic woes.”

State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton said, “Governor Hochul indefinitely stopping the implementation of congestion pricing is a significant win for our constituents. We have been voicing our concerns about this program since its inception, and I'm glad that Governor Hochul has taken the concerns I have brought to her into consideration before congestion pricing was set to go into effect later this month. The health, financial security, and overall well-being of my constituents on Staten Island and in Southern Brooklyn are my top priorities, which is why I fought against this congestion pricing plan from the moment it was first announced. From introducing legislation for exemptions to this program to joining the lawsuit to stop it in its tracks, I have been steadfast in my opposition all along. The adverse health effects and the financial burden it would have placed on my constituents should have always outweighed the potential tax revenue for New York.”

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.said, “While I understand the program’s intent to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and financially support our public transit system, I had concerns about the impact on New Yorkers residing in transit deserts with no viable transportation option into Manhattan other than by car. Congestion pricing would impose heavy financial burdens on taxi drivers, truck drivers, the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled community. Additionally, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, and an entire business ecosystem dependent on financial support from outer-borough residents and visitors would suffer as people are deterred from visiting the city. I believe that delaying the implementation of the Central Business District Tolling Program would allow residents and tourists to better prepare for this unwarranted expense, as we continue recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. I applaud the Governor for recognizing the widespread consequences this program would present for residents, businesses, and tourists.”

Assemblymember Manny De Los Santos said, “Leadership is about doing the right thing — even when tough. That’s why I’m so glad governor Hochul is standing up for low- and middle-income families by pausing congestion pricing. With inflation higher than it’s been in a generation, New Yorkers can’t afford yet another hit to our wallets. Thank you governor Hochul for your thoughtful, respectful approach.”

Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia said, “I support Governor Hochul’s decision of pausing the ‘Congestion Pricing Toll.’ At this moment congestion pricing will negatively impact our businesses and the state economic. Low-income hardworking families would compete with going to work or putting food on the table.”

Assemblymember Taylor Darling said, “Post pandemic, most working class New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet. I am in agreement with delaying the start of congestion pricing for any reason. When it moves forward, my main concern will be ensuring Long Island gets its fair share.”

Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato said, “This was the right move by the Governor. Congestion pricing, if implemented, would cause an undue burden on the residents of South Queens. As your Assemblywoman and voice in Albany I've had ongoing conversations to point out the issues this policy would cause to our district. Having also worked on legislation to prevent its implementation, and guarantee carve outs, I am proud to report that our voices have been heard! Congestion pricing has been suspended! This is a victory for the hardworking residents of New York, and particularly our district, and it was my honor to work with you to achieve this step. Your continued advocacy helped elevate the concerns and objections I made to the Governor. The rationale for congestion pricing is no longer relevant and there would be too many unintended consequences. We have more work to do but this is a great step!”

Assemblymember David Weprin said, “I applaud Governor Hochul for delaying congestion pricing. I have opposed congestion pricing since it was first proposed. If adopted, this tax will impose massive financial burdens on everyday New Yorkers and outer borough residents like my neighbors.”

Assemblymember Sam Berger said, “I applaud Governor Hochul for heeding the calls of outer-borough communities and indefinitely postponing congestion pricing. This initiative failed to contemplate the financial burden on transit deserts like the 27th Assembly District, putting the cart before the horse. Thank you.”

Assemblymember Clyde Vanel said, “Governor Hochul is putting working New Yorkers first by halting congestion pricing. Thank you for your leadership and working to make our state affordable for working families and fighting to improve the environment and public transportation.”

Assemblymember Brian Cunningham said, “After listening to concerns from residents, Governor Hochul's decision to pause congestion pricing is the right one. While congestion pricing helps tackle reducing emissions related to overcrowding and the climate crisis, we still need to address how congestion pricing will affect our most vulnerable and outer-borough communities. The reality is our residents are struggling to overcome the challenges of inflation while utilizing a transportation system that needs serious infrastructure improvements. Our goal has always been to get this program right, and as of now I don't believe we have done that. I look forward to working with Governor Hochul and my colleagues in the legislature to get it done so we all can.”

Assemblymember Charles Fall said, “I have had concerns about the rollout of the MTA's congestion pricing plan, as it clearly imposed an additional financial burden on our residents. Many in the community felt their voices were not adequately heard, and the economic impact on everyday New Yorkers and small businesses was not fully considered. Governor Hochul's decision to pause this plan is a positive step. This pause provides an essential opportunity to create a fair and inclusive solution. It is important to address the concerns of all stakeholders and ensure that any future plans are balanced and considerate of our communities' needs. We must find an approach that addresses the needs of our transit system without placing undue financial strain on our citizens. Additionally, the MTA needs to be clear about how the revenue from congestion pricing will be used. Transparency on this front is crucial to gaining public trust and ensuring that the funds are directed towards necessary improvements in our transit infrastructure.”

Assemblymember Charles Lavine said, “With the region not fully recovered from the pandemic and Long Islanders needing affordable access to Manhattan whether by car or train, Governor Hochul’s pausing of congestion pricing is the RIGHT move at the RIGHT time. I praise the Governor for putting the needs of middle class New Yorkers who are struggling ahead of any political considerations.”

Assemblymember George Alvarez said, “Everywhere around my district, I hear the same refrain: the cost of living is too damn high. I supported Governor Kathy Hochul raising the minimum wage, I supported her plan to make housing affordable, and now I’m standing with her as she paused congestion pricing.”

Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski said, “Governor Hochul is right to indefinitely halt congestion pricing. This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time for too many New Yorkers.”

Assemblymember William Colton said, “I praise Gov. Kathy Hochul for halting the Congestion Pricing plan from being implemented on poorly thought out planning with many unanticipated negative consequences. I appreciate Governor Kathy Hochul speaking out and halting congestion pricing when it became clear that in these post covid times of high inflation there are many families and small businesses which would be hurt. A good leader acts before people suffer damages before those injuries occur. The congestion pricing plan was being rolled out, ignoring the requests of many stakeholders including outer boroughs families, small businesses, people traveling for medical treatment, taxis, seniors visiting family members and residents on the outer boundaries of [the] congestion zone whose parking would be used by those not wanting to drive into the congestion area.”

Assemblymember Gina L. Sillitti said, “Thank you Governor Hochul for pumping the brakes on Congestion Pricing. We certainly need to get more cars off the road and encourage residents to take mass transit but this wasn't it. This proposal should have been about benefiting the environment by supporting mass transit, and not making money off the backs of our residents.”

Dutchess County Executive Sue Serino said, “I have long been opposed to congestion pricing and the burden it would place on Hudson Valley residents. Now is not the time to add extra costs to our neighbors as they are still trying to survive and bounce back from the affordability crisis we are in.”

Nassau County Democratic Minority Leader Delia DeRiggo-Whitton said, “I fully support Governor Hochul's decision to indefinitely delay the implementation of Manhattan's congestion pricing plan. In these unprecedented times, as we navigate the complexities of a post-pandemic economic recovery, it is imperative that our policies adapt to the evolving commercial landscape and the real challenges faced by everyday New Yorkers. The Governor's approach takes into consideration the fact that many of our residents and small businesses are still struggling to make ends meet. This decision not only reflects a compassionate understanding of the economic pressures on New Yorkers but also underscores the importance of reevaluating long-term strategies in light of our current realities.”

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “I applaud Governor Hochul for examining the consequences and impact congestion pricing would have on New Yorkers. We know many of our City of Yonkers residents work in New York City and the extra tolls would not have been sustainable or efficient for them.”

Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano said, “Thank you Governor for listening to the people. This additional cost would be devastating to many commuters from Orange County.”

Clarkstown Town Supervisor George Hoehmann said, “Today the Governor announced that she was indefinitely halting the congestion pricing law that was set to go into effect at the end of this month. This is a huge win for all of us. Personally, the Town of Clarkstown joined with the other four towns and County to object to this terrible plan that would have hurt all of us. The plan called for a $15.00 toll for anyone going into Manhattan and traveling below 60th Street. While I commend the Governor on seeing the light this never should have been considered in the first place. This is a huge win for all of us who have fought to stop NYC politicians from further hurting the suburbs by imposing this ridiculous tax. We already have a significant value gap in what we pay the MTA and what we receive in services. Happy that the Governor has stepped in to stop this plan.”

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said, “As many of our residents travel to the City for work or recreation, I am happy to hear that the Governor has decided to take a more in-depth look at the proposed congestion pricing, and how it affects the people of New York.”

Councilmember Nantasha Williams said, “Grateful for Governor Kathy Hochul’s Decision to Pause Congestion Pricing. I want to express my appreciation to Governor Kathy Hochul for listening to the concerns of New Yorkers and pausing the launch of congestion pricing. The decision to delay the implementation of this initiative is a testament to her commitment to ensuring that the voices of our communities are heard. There are still many unresolved questions about how congestion pricing will impact New Yorkers and other commuters, and it is crucial that we address these concerns before moving forward. By taking the time to reevaluate the plan and engage with the public, Governor Hochul has demonstrated leadership and a genuine dedication to serving the people of our great state. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Hochul and other stakeholders to find solutions that benefit all New Yorkers. Together, we can create a transportation system that is efficient, equitable, and sustainable for generations to come.”

Suffolk County Supervisors Association Chairman Rich Schaffer and Vice Chair Angie Carpenter said, “The Suffolk County Supervisors Association fully supports Governor Hochul's decision to indefinitely delay congestion pricing in New York City. We recognize the potential impact on residents and businesses in Suffolk County, particularly the economic burden it may place on commuters traveling to and from New York City. This delay allows for further evaluation of alternative solutions to address traffic congestion in the region, ensuring that any measures implemented are equitable and effective for all stakeholders involved. We urge continued collaboration between state and local governments to develop transportation policies that prioritize the needs of Suffolk County residents and businesses.”

Suffolk County Village Officials Association President Dennis Siry said, “While we continue to advocate for the use of mass transit, we're also glad to hear the Governor Kathy Hochul has delayed the launch of the congestion pricing plan. This is good news for many who rely on a vehicle for work and other essential reasons, and for whom mass transit is not always possible or practical. We appreciate her listening to New Yorkers and being willing to step back and evaluate the situation.”

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, “Governor Hochul heard the concerns of educators and ordinary New Yorkers that this plan for congestion pricing just shifts pollution, congestion, and costs onto already struggling communities. As an organization that has gone to court to fight this plan, we applaud the Governor for making the right decision.”

New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry said, “The governor made the right call here. The congestion tax is not only a burden on police officers and other essential commuters - it's bad for public safety. The NYPD is already severely understaffed and struggling to recruit and retain police officers, who can find better pay and benefits in almost any other police department. Forcing cops to dig deeper into their pockets just to report for duty will send even more of them running for the exits. A congestion tax would mean even fewer cops on the streets. New Yorkers can't afford that.”

Local 237 Teamsters President and Secretary Gregory Floyd said, “Working people were saved today by Governor Hochul’s decision to indefinitely postpone congestion pricing. We would have paid the price which many of our members could not afford. Glad she understands.”

Long Island Association said, “Our region faces an existential affordability crisis which is why this is the wrong time to be saddling New York residents and businesses with additional cost burdens, so the Governor made the absolute right decision to suspend the implementation of congestion pricing.”

A Better Times Square said, “Governor Hochul, thank you for showing leadership and recognizing this was not the time for congestion pricing. We all want a safe, reliable, and equitable transit system and this pause will give us time to develop a plan that does not negatively impact Manhattan south of 60th Street.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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