NYLPI Digital Action: Congestion Pricing Can Improve the Lives of People with Disabilities and You Can Help Shape It

February 29, 2024

Access-A-Ride, Access-a-Ride Reform Group, Disability Justice, Health Justice, MTA, News, OPWDD, Transportation

Photo: Congestion Pricing Now Coalition members stand in front of the subway for a rally, including State Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Simon and other accessibility advocates (some in wheelchairs) to call for the implementation of congestion pricing without further delay

NYLPI encourages all New Yorkers to support Congestion Pricing, which will reduce traffic on New York City roads so that the vehicles that truly need to be there – Access-A-Ride (AAR) paratransit, emergency vehicles, and delivery trucks, among others – will get to where they are going faster.

People with disabilities who have been historically shut out of the subway system must not now be charged a Congestion Pricing toll when they use the only mode of transportation consistently available to them: ground transportation. The MTA appears to agree, and created an exemption for some people with disabilities, according to the plan it released on Tuesday. There are, however, many limitations to, and unanswered questions about, the MTA’s plan.

Giving public testimony (in-person or written) will make clear the needs of the disability community with respect to the disability exemption. 

Read on to learn about how to get involved and please spread the word!

What are Key Points to Make?

  •  Support passage of the Congestion Pricing plan
    • Without Congestion Pricing funds, large-scale subway accessibility improvements will be at risk.

    • Congestion Pricing will reduce traffic, meaning that people who need the roads will travel more efficiently.

  •  Push for improvements for the Disability Exemption (choose one or two)
    • More than one vehicle exempted per person.

    • Attach the exemption “reader” to a phone rather than to a vehicle.

    • Exempt AAR On-Demand or increase the subsidized amounts to account for the Congestion Pricing toll.

    • Exempt people with disabilities relying on non-AAR wheelchair accessible cabs and for-hire vehicles.

    • Ensure an online exemption application process is available, rather than requiring folks to appear in person at assessment centers.

How to Get Involved

Giving public testimony at an upcoming hearing or in writing can help the MTA shape Congestion Pricing’s use.

Register to give oral testimony at an upcoming public hearing:

  • Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1, 2024, at 10 a.m.
  • Monday, March 4, 2024, at 10 a.m.
  • Monday, March 4, 2024, at 6 p.m.

You can present your testimony either in person or remotely.

Read the full instructions on how to get involved here.

Photo: Congestion Pricing Now Coalition members stand in front of the subway for a rally, including State Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Simon and other accessibility advocates (some in wheelchairs) to call for the implementation of Congestion Pricing without further delay.

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