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Hochul pauses congestion pricing plan, Town of Hempstead to continue lawsuit

She cited New Yorkers being “hammered on costs” and that the plan “risked too many unintended consequences for New Yorkers at this time.”

Kurt Semder and Kevin Vesey

Jun 5, 2024, 9:36 PM

Updated 17 days ago

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Gov. Kathy Hochul slammed the brakes on a congestion pricing plan that was set to go into effect on June 30. She cited New Yorkers being “hammered on costs” and that the plan “risked too many unintended consequences for New Yorkers at this time.”
Moments after making the announcement via pre-recorded video message, the governor made a scheduled appearance in East Islip. Prior to her arrival, her podium was removed and plans for her to make remarks and take questions were scrapped.
The Town of Hempstead was the first town on Long Island to take legal action against the plan. Supervisor Don Clavin says the town will continue their lawsuit, wanting to see congestion pricing canceled, not delayed.
Transit advocates were surprised by the governor’s decision.
“We were blindsided. I was quite stunned to hear and saddened and disappointed,” said Rachel Weinberger with the Regional Plan Association.
Danny Pearlstein with Riders Alliance said, “This is the flip-flop of the century and it’s a massive betrayal of millions of people who depend on public transit - and really the entire city and state ­- that rely on a thriving economy based on our subways, our trains and our buses.”
Gerard Bringmann with the LIRR Commuter Council says the transit system could suffer without congestion pricing.
Bringmann said, “We could see delays. We could see less comfortable trains, things of that nature.”
But Charlton D’souza with the group Passengers United says the MTA needs to control its spending before the agency gets more money.
D’souza said, “I'm happy the governor did this for now it's a step in the right direction. But we need leadership to kill this completely.”


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