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New York: Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Gov. Kathy Hochul

POLITICS: Kudos for Hochul’s congestion toll U-turn — now make sure it’s dead for good

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Rejoice, New Yorkers! Congestion pricing has been kiboshed — for now.

We’re glad Gov. Hochul heeded our many (many, many) warnings about the toll this toll would take on the Big Apple, announcing Wednesday that she’s indefinitely pausing implementation of the $15+ fees, which were to kick in June 30.

“I cannot add another burden to working middle class New Yorkers or create another obstacle to our continued economic recovery,” she explained.


Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she is indefinitely pausing New York City’s congestion pricing plan. Al Drago – Pool via CNP / MEGA

Bravo, gov, for recognizing that New Yorkers can’t afford to be squeezed in yet another way by the state.

Although Hochul did support congestion pricing, it wasn’t her brainchild (thank ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo for that), so she could be forgiven for a tactical and graceful retreat — if it sticks.

Yet she’s only promised to hold off on the fee, not get rid of it entirely.

The delay was the obvious choice politically in an election year: A whopping 63% of New Yorkers are against it, and the plan faced opposition from everyone from the teachers union to members of Hochul’s own party.

Yet she’s treating it only as bad timing: Times are hard and the city is still bouncing back from the COVID shutdowns — but signaling that the tolls could return under the right circumstances.

No: Kill congestion pricing for good — otherwise, this looks like a stall to avoid putting a deeply unpopular policy in place before the November election, when Hochul’s Democrats hope to pick up suburban House seats.

As The Post has reported, and Hochul herself now admits, the fees would slam all New Yorkers, not just drivers, slowing tourism and slamming businesses.

That’s all still going to be true even if the city’s economic outlook improves.

And all of the cash the tolls generate, an estimated $1 billion a year, would go to the MTA, a bloated agency with $7.8 billion payroll that blew a record $1.37 billion on overtime last year.

Address the MTA’s funding woes without pilfering the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers; the gov should insist the MTA get its financial house in order and that local district attorneys crack down on the farebeaters who are costing the system millions per year.

The gov deserves big props for listening to her constituents (and reading The Post).

Now, send congestion pricing to the “bad ideas” graveyard once and for all.



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