NYLPI, Riders Alliance Press Hochul for Congestion Pricing Now

September 29, 2021

Disability Justice, Environmental Justice, MTA, News

A screenshot of the virtual MTA hearing where Christopher Schuyler gave comment.

The campaign for Congestion Pricing in New York was in full force this past week as Senior Staff Attorney Christopher Schuyler presented comments to the MTA during their first of ten virtual public meetings on the congestion pricing program. Christopher examined through his comments the ways in which congestion pricing would support both disability and environmental justice:

“The [Capital Plan]’s proposal to make 70 stations accessible, and make improvements to 175 other stations, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, is long overdue. The portion of the Plan’s funding raised by congestion pricing which will go to accessibility improvements must be at least proportional to the percentage of the Plan which deals with accessibility, and critically, must be earmarked for spending solely for the proposed accessibility work.

We also strongly support congestion pricing for the benefits of reduced climate emissions and traffic congestion. Congestion pricing will counteract traffic gridlock, which slows many buses and paratransit vehicles to a mere crawl. Easing traffic in the central business district will help people, including those with disabilities, get to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other appointments faster and more reliably.”

Read Christopher’s full comments to the MTA here or watch the virtual testimony here.

Learn more about the MTA public meetings and how to submit comments here.

Following Christopher’s testimony on September 23, NYLPI joined Riders Alliance for a Congestion Price rally outside of Gov. Hochul’s office on September 26. This rally was co-organized by Transit Alternatives, Families for Safe Streets, and NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. NYLPI’s Director of Policy Justin Wood spoke to urgent need to raise funds to support the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan and ensure improving subway accessibility isn’t left on the cutting room floor.

“Congestion pricing is a fundamental issue of disability justice and equity for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who identify as having disabilities, and the millions of us who someday will experience a form of disability and have difficulty using our hugely inaccessible — basically functionally inaccessible — subway stations.”

Read coverage on congestion pricing via NY Daily News, AM New York, NYC Streetsblog, and Tap Into Sutton Place/Lennox Hill.

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