LI business says congestion pricing plan could put significant dent in profits

MO Trucking owner Erez Herschkowitz says the company is trying to figure out how to offset the $24 to $36 tolls each truck will face when congestion price goes into effect.

Jon Dowding

Mar 27, 2024, 9:14 PM

Updated 22 days ago


Long Islanders are already anticipating the effects of congestion pricing as the plan is approved by the MTA.
The only "no" vote came from Nassau County board member David Mack. He’s not the only person in Nassau not on board with the plan.
"It seems discriminatory towards the working class,” said Edward Harney, of Farmingdale.
The tolls affect vehicles driving south of 60th Street in Manhattan. It will cost $15 for passenger vehicles, $24 to $36 for trucks, and $7.50 for motorcycles.
MO Trucking, a family-owned trucking company in Farmingdale, sends at least four trucks a day into the city to transport clothes, drinks, medical supplies and other goods.
MO Trucking owner Erez Herschkowitz says the company is trying to figure out how to offset the tolls each truck will face when congestion pricing goes into effect.
"It's really not as simple as just going to your customer and raising prices,” he said. “We’re reaching out to customers – doesn’t look like we have any options to raise our rates. It looks like it’s just going to be coming out of our pockets.”
Herschkowitz says the company could face roughly $30,000 a year in expenses because of congestion pricing.
"It hurts the small guys. It hurts the small businesses,” said Herschkowitz. “The bigger businesses will find a way around it. Small guys like us, it could be the straw that broke the camel's back."
Not everyone is subjected to the tolls. Authorized emergency vehicles, city school buses, and commuter buses - like the Hampton Jitney - will receive exemptions. Firefighters and teachers are not exempt.
Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Jim Brosi says this could put more hardships onto firefighters and their families.
"That will lead to a mass exodus for those who have the ability to leave that portion of the city to not only transfer to places where they won't be burdened by this cost, but that will also create a massive brain drain of institutional knowledge,” said Brosi.
Others worry about how people will afford the congestion pricing tolls as prices elsewhere continue to rise.
"How are people going to adjust to it? It's going to hurt a lot of people I think and probably drive people out of the city,” said Harney.
The pricing plan could roll out as early as June, but it is expected to face legal challenges.

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