Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Congestion Pricing

National Green Groups Condemn Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Had New York engaged congestion pricing, the state would have "played a nation-leading role." Alas.

This city could be so nice.

Since Gov. Hochul's June 6 announcement that she had killed congestion pricing, Streetsblog reporters have posted more than 30 stories about the crisis from New York and Albany. But that level of intensity also requires support from our readers. Click here if you can help fund more reporting.

The editors

The anger has gone national.

Later today, a coalition of environmental groups — not local chapters, mind you, but the national organizations — will formally condemn Gov. Hochul's decision to delay and perhaps kill congestion pricing, which the groups call "a vital policy ... to reduce congestion, alleviate pollution in overburdened communities, and provide dedicated financial support to public transportation."

"It’s imperative that New York’s leadership extend to the transportation sector — the source of 28 percent of the state’s climate pollution," reads a letter to be sent today by the leaders of Evergreen Action, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, and Earthjustice.

Had New York engaged congestion pricing, the groups added, the state would have "played a nation-leading role in combating the climate crisis." But alas.

"We are sorely disappointed by your sudden decision to postpone this critical policy," the letter states. "On behalf of the environmental organizations signed below, and the larger public, we are writing to ask you to reconsider and recommit to swift implementation of the 2019 law. ... We know from analysis conducted by the business community and your own transportation agencies that congestion pricing is perfectly compatible with a strong New York economy and your affordability agenda."

The governor, of course, has disagreed, saying that congestion pricing would hurt small businesses and their customers, a position that has been debunked repeatedly.

Hochul's office declined to comment on the letter, which certainly isn't the first or the last of its kind.

Last week, the Transportation and the Environment and Parks committee of Queens Community Board condemned Hochul's decision for largely the same reasons.

"Confronting climate change will take bold, visionary leadership. It requires a considerable culture shift that wil not always be understood by all voters," the committees' letter stated. "However, inaction only furthers the crisis and puts our state — and New York City, the economic engine of the state — at risk. ... The country, and the rest of the world, is looking to us to set the tone on climate action. With this misguided congestion pricing delay, the governor has chosen inaction. New York City must lead the way."

Manhattan community boards inside the congestion zone — and whose residents are among those with the most to benefit, but also include plaintiffs on a lawsuit against congestion pricing — are also going to be sending a letter to the governor, as Streetsblog previously reported.

And the leaders of roughly 30 New York area environmental and legal groups sent a letter to Hochul on Monday reminding her that electrifying the bus fleet was one of the key goals of congestion pricing. Without the $15 toll, Hochul "jeopardizes critical funding for the MTA's capital program, which includes the essential zero-emission bus program," the letter read.

"The MTA's commitment to replacing its diesel and compressed natural gas bus fleets with a 100-percent zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040 represents a significant step toward combating climate change," the letter stated. "With the congestion pricing pause announced on June 5, this effort is at serious risk of
missing the 2040 target and the immense benefits it will bring."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Disabled NYer’s are Victims of Gov. Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause

So many New Yorkers can’t use the closest subway station to their homes because they don't have an elevator. And Gov. Hochul just halted funding for 23 new lifts.

July 23, 2024

DOT Will Fast-Track Private Sidewalk E-Bike Charging Stations

The mayor announced a new sidewalk e-bike charging station initiative, along with progress on the e-bike battery swap program and more money to FDNY for educational outreach.

July 23, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines: LEGO Finally Gets It Edition

Streetsblog has had our issues with LEGO over the years, but we're willing to forgive. Plus other news.

July 23, 2024

Speeding Fuels Pedestrian Death Crisis As Council Stalls ‘Sammy’s Law’ Changes

Pedestrian fatalities were up 27 percent in the first six months of the year compared to 2023.

July 23, 2024

Bike Rack Saves Pedestrians in Crash on Busy Brooklyn Street

The white Hyundai involved in the crash has been nabbed 10 times by city speed- and red-light cameras since Oct. 10, 2023, city records show.

July 22, 2024
See all posts