Estimates on costs to overhaul the NYC subway system range from $19 to $38 billion – or more. At most, the Congestion Tax will raise around $800 million per year (Appleseed Report December 2018) – not nearly enough to fund the MTA’s plan even over the course of a decade. Even if congestion pricing works, the MTA cannot handle a significant increase in ridership
Myth #1 -- "Congestion Pricing Will Fix the Subway"
“Congestion pricing, even if fully developed and completely implemented, will not be enough” - Joe Lhota (City & State, October 24, 2018)
Myth #2 -- "Congestion Pricing Will Reduce Congestion in Manhattan"
The data is clear – trips by private automobiles into Manhattan’s central business district have been declining for two decades (New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, Hub-Bound Travel Study).
Instead, congestion is being caused by the explosive growth of services like Uber and Lyft. These services are not generating congestion by going in and out of the planned zone – they are trolling around for rides within the zone itself. Congestion pricing will not reduce congestion.
*People will either absorb the cost and keep driving, or switch to services like Uber and Lyft.
*Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, has predicted only a modest decline in traffic.
*That’s why the RPA is pushing for double taxing commuters.
*Congestion pricing is not working in London. Fees have gone up while congestion has dramatically increased Congestion pricing will only shift congestion to other areas, not reduce it:
*Commuters will exit the highways on the upper east and west sides of Manhattan, causing detrimental environmental and health impacts, not to mention congestion and a strain on parking, in residential neighborhoods.
Myth #3 -- "Congestion Pricing Will Only Impact the Wealth"
NYC residents who commute via private automobiles make virtually the same average income as those who commute by bicycle – and less than those who walk to work! (Appleseed Report December 2018).
Congestion pricing will affect middle-class commuters, many of whom lack access to reliable subway transportation.
Congestion pricing is a handout to the wealthy at the expense of outer-borough, lower income and minority New Yorkers:
*Congestion pricing will allow the ultra-wealthy to be chauffeured up and down park and fifth avenue to and from their multi-million dollar homes traffic-free, while working class outer borough New Yorkers will be double-taxed or relegated to a failing mass transit system.
*Exemptions will raise the toll on everyone else.
*Political promises will doom it to fail – discounts, waivers and credits (ie Henry Hudson bridge and other crossings) will be handed out to special interests.
*The RPA is even pushing removing carveouts for vehicles carrying the disabled Congestion pricing is another tax for suburban New Yorkers who will now be double and maybe triple-tolled during their commute.
*Congestion pricing is not about congestion; it’s a cash grab at the expense of New Yorkers already burdened by the highest taxes in the country.
*Money will come out of New Yorkers pockets into a system that has a proven track record of squandering it with no benefit to commuters (ie payroll tax).