The campaign to address New York’s traffic and transit crises got a major boost today when leading business, labor, environmental and transportation advocate organizations announced they are committing funds to advocate for a robust congestion pricing plan to be included as part of the State’s FY2019 budget, which is expected to be adopted by April 1.
The groups will focus resources on a communications campaign to engage the public and encourage the Governor and Legislature to adopt the recommendations developed by the Fix NYC Task Force, established by Governor Cuomo and released in January. The dual focuses of the campaign are the $20 billion cost to the regional economy of excess traffic congestion and the MTA’s unmet funding needs. The effort will begin with a digital advertising campaign to demonstrate why these groups, which represent diverse stakeholders and constituencies, all believe congestion pricing is essential to our region’s economic and environmental future.
The growing list of the participating groups currently includes:
Environmental Defense Fund
Move NY Coalition
New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council
Partnership for New York City
Real Estate Board of New York
Regional Plan Association
Our mass transit network is the region’s most critical infrastructure. It is proving time and again to be unable to service our record job and population growth. Low-income New Yorkers and outer borough residents, struggling to get to work each day, pay the price of an unreliable mass transit system. Riders and their employers are demanding solutions – they deserve action on the only plan on the table that will reduce traffic congestion and address the MTA’s funding needs.
Recommendations from the Fix NYC Plan that are endorsed by this coalition include:
- Imposing daily charge on vehicles moving through the Manhattan Central Business District;
- Investing the revenues raised from for-hire, commercial and passenger vehicles in fixing, upgrading and modernizing the mass transit system;
- Identifying and filling the needs for new transit services in areas that are underserved by the current system;
- Developing a value capture program with local governments to ensure that a portion of the revenue generated by major transit projects is dedicated to the MTA capital program;
- Improving enforcement of existing traffic laws through the use of cameras and other technology to address areas such as blocking the box, driving in the bus lanes, and double parking.