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Long Island GOP rallies against congestion pricing plan

Elvert Barnes

New York Republicans rallied on Tuesday against Governor Hochul’s decision to proceed with the state’s congestion pricing plan.

The plan adds a toll to drive into Manhattan below 60th Street by early 2024. It could cost commuters more than $30 a day and commercial vehicles more than $80.

Hochul said she has no plans to pause congestion pricing during a visit to Long Island earlier this week.

State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said Hochul has aligned herself with out-of-touch New York City politicians, leaving Long Islanders to pay the price.

“They voted with their colleagues from New York City. They voted with the elites from Manhattan, against their constituents here on Long Island,” Ortt said. “Plain and simple.”

The goal of congestion pricing is to reduce vehicle traffic in New York City, while funding $1 million a year each to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

Nassau County Legis. Steven Rhoads, R-Bellmore, said he expects this will burden businesses.

"If you are making deliveries into Manhattan, if you're a contractor that has no choice," he said, "but to carry your tools and equipment into the city with you in order to be able to work, you are going to have to pay this toll — at up to $82 per trip."

“This is a tax that is not only on the residents of Suffolk and Nassau County, but also the residents of New York City who are going to have to absorb those increases,” said Legis. Kevin McCaffery, R-Lindenhurst, who serves as presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.

Republicans want residents to testify at MTA hearings about the proposal from Aug. 25-31.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.