© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9 FM is currently running on reduced power. 89.9 HD1 and HD2 are off the air. While we work to fix the issue, we recommend downloading the WSHU app.

Long Island Republicans blast MTA's congestion pricing plan

Republican lawmakers on Long Island and local business leaders gathered on Monday to oppose congestion pricing at the LIRR train station in Mineola, NY.
Office of NY state Sen. Steve Rhoads
Republican lawmakers on Long Island and local business leaders gathered on Monday to oppose congestion pricing at the LIRR train station in Mineola, NY.

Republican lawmakers on Long Island say the plan to charge drivers who travel into Manhattan will hurt commuters and small businesses. They urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to drop her support for congestion pricing, calling it "highway robbery."

Under the plan by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, most cars would pay $15 per day to enter Manhattan below 60th Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Trucks could pay up to $36 depending on size.

Supporters have applauded the initiative, citing environmental benefits, increased revenue and less traffic, but Republican lawmakers blasted the plan on Monday at a news conference outside the Long Island Rail Road station in Mineola.

"This is about accountability," State Sen. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) said. "We give so much to the MTA."

Instead of charging drivers, Murray said the MTA should crack down on fare and toll evasion.

"What have they done to fix the problem? Nothing," Murray said. "It's death by a thousand cuts."

The lawmakers said the fees will hurt taxi and rideshare drivers, delivery drivers and everyday commuters.

"This isn't about cleaner air," State Sen. Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore) said. "This isn't about less traffic. This is about nothing more than money — money being thrown into the black hole that is the MTA."

Supporters of congestion pricing like Hochul, a Democrat, say it will encourage more people to take public transportation, fund infrastructure projects and cut down on gridlock and air pollution.

“It will deliver cleaner air, less gridlock and $15 billion for safer, better transit for New Yorkers," Hochul wrote on X last week after the MTA voted to advance the plan.

But her fellow Democrat Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey, has already sued the U.S. Department of Transportation to block the plan, which was approved by the MTA board last week.

It now advances to a 60-day public comment period, then public hearings and another board vote before the plan goes into effect.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
Related Content
  • Long Island Republicans blast the MTA’s congestion pricing plan. New Haven officials condemn the desecration of a public menorah. A vote this week could create a new contract for student workers at Yale. Connecticut prisons have seen an increase in assaults on staff.