NYC Congestion Pricing Postponed Indefinitely in ‘Stunning Reversal’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the indef­i­nite post­pone­ment of New York City’s con­ges­tion pric­ing pro­gram, which had been slat­ed to start on June 30. ABC 7 Eye­wit­ness reports that the gov­er­nor, who has been a vocal sup­port­er of the plan in the past, framed the “stun­ning rever­sal” as eco­nom­ic, say­ing the tim­ing isn’t right as the city is still from the pan­dem­ic and New York­ers are with hous­ing, food, and costs. “The gov­er­nor expressed con­cern sub­ur­ban com­muters would choose to from or skip recre­ation­al vis­its to the city,” the arti­cle reads.

The announce­ment is a blow for tran­sit advo­cates, who “cham­pi­oned the tolls as a way of rais­ing bil­lions of dol­lars for New York’s belea­guered sub­way and com­muter rail sys­tems while reduc­ing traf­fic in the city’s streets.”

It also leaves MTA, which faces a $1 bil­lion bud­get deficit with­out imple­men­ta­tion and whose had not been briefed on the delay at the time the arti­cle’s pub­li­ca­tion, in lim­bo. “I’m in shock,” Andrew Albert, a mem­ber of the board, told the news out­let. “We won’t get new bus­es, new sub­way cars, new sig­nals. It’s a betray­al of the mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple who would have been helped by this.”

This move is the lat­est in ’s been a long and event­ful jour­ney from con­cep­tion to near-imple­men­ta­tion. Plan­e­ti­zen has report­ed exten­sive­ly on the plan, which would be the first of its kind in the U.S., includ­ing an by Plan­e­ti­zen blog­ger Remond and Don­ald Shoup, break­down of its pric­ing — includ­ing pro­gram exemp­tions and dis­counts announced ear­li­er this week — the law­suits filed against it, and more.

The ABC 7 Eye­wit­ness News arti­cle says, “There remains a belief that con­ges­tion pric­ing is inevitable” and hints that the moti­va­tion for the delay could be polit­i­cal, “as Democ­rats are fac­ing dif­fi­cult House races in the New York City sub­urbs. Repub­li­cans have planned to use con­ges­tion pric­ing as a polit­i­cal wedge.”

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