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Today's Headlines

Wednesday’s Headlines: Traffic Mobility Review Board Edition

The panel tasked with coming up with congestion pricing toll recommendations for the MTA board to approve meets for the first time on Wednesday. Plus other news.

12:01 AM EDT on July 19, 2023

It’s TMRB time, baby. Photo: Josh Katz

It's finally time. The Traffic Mobility Review board — the panel tasked with coming up with congestion pricing toll recommendations for the MTA board to approve — meets for the first time on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Streetsblog's Dave Colon previewed the meeting Monday with a review of the latest report from transportation Charles Komanoff, whose "Balanced Transportation Analyzer" helped shape the 2019 state law that created congestion pricing. Komanoff and environmental economist Gernot Wagner suggested the MTA implement a $15 peak-hour toll, which they argued would hit the "political sweet spot" to get an effective pricing program (finally) underway.

The TMRB consists of Chair Carl Weisbrod and five other members including one, Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen, who is the only appointee to the panel by Mayor Adams. Their mandate is narrow — state law requires the tolls raise $1 billion annually, and any exemptions or discounts add to the cost for everyone else.

In fact, each additional percentage point of vehicles not required to pay the toll takes $10 million from the program's revenue, according to Komanoff and Wagner. That hasn't stopped everyone and their mother from asking for exemptions ahead of Wednesday's meeting, but it's sure to weigh on the TMRB.

In other news:

  • On the agenda at today's MTA board meeting: fare hikes. (Daily News, Newsday)
  • Former MTA CEO Pat Foye claims he doesn't need a waiver to lobby on Penn Station-related issued because Amtrak, not the MTA, owns the rail hub. (NY Post)
  • ICYMI: "Make McGuinness Safer" proponents interview by Errol Louis Monday night. And the latest from Streetsblog's Kevin Duggan. (NY1)
  • The Astor Place Cube spins again! (NY1, Curbed, NY Times)
  • From NYPD: a 34-year-old motorcyclist died after colliding with a driver turning left off Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn on Monday. The deceased has not been identified.
  • Gothamist/WNYC uncovered a serial litterer in Greenpoint.
  • MTA and Amtrak are at over plans to bring Metro-North trains into Penn Station. (Newsday)
  • Anti-bus pol Oswald Feliz broke his silence Tuesday to pick a petty fight with Riders Alliance. (Oswald Feliz via Twitter)
  • Jerry Nadler will not stand for Amtrak cuts (and cited Streetsblog to make the point):

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