New York City Congestion Pricing Confounded by Federal Delay

While New York City's congestion pricing scheme waits for needed federal approval, political support seems to waver.

1 minute read

February 24, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New York City Traffic

CC0 Public Domain / pxhere

According to Dana Rubinstein, New York City officials still aren’t sure if a proposed congestion pricing scheme requires an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. The latter could take years to complete. The reason for the lack of certainty: officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation haven't communicated an answer to that question, despite officials at the city and state level posing the question to federal officials ten months ago.

"That haziness puts MTA officials, and the massive system-wide rehabilitation plan whose funding is reliant on congestion pricing, in a serious bind," writes Rubinstein.

The plan was to launch the congestion pricing scheme in January 2021, but that's looking less likely all the time—especially if the city and the state eventually do have to undertake an environmental impact statement.

In a later, follow up article on the same subject, Rubinstein reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun to cast doubt on the program. 'I’m not holding my breath for them to approve congestion pricing,' Cuomo is quoted as saying in the article.

Paul Berger originally reported the federal delay on the congestion pricing scheme in a paywalled article for the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in Politico

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