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Wednesday’s Headlines: Trump Trumps Congestion Pricing Edition

The 2024 presidential election could determine the fate of congestion pricing. Plus more news.

Think the seemingly endless debate over whether President Biden should step aside or else face the possibility of losing to Donald Trump in November has nothing to do with Streetsblog? Think again.

The fate of congestion pricing could lie in the hands of whoever is president of the United States come January. The possibility of throwing the toll's future to a second term President Donald Trump has come up before — Streetsblog ran a story about it the week of Gov. Hochul's announcement that she had "indefinitely paused" pricing in early June. But the issue is front and center as the possibility of Democrats losing the White House feels more real.

Gothamist laid out the stakes in a story Tuesday exploring the feasibility of plans floating around Albany for a "Goldilocks" congestion toll price under $15 that could convince Hochul to end the pause and let the toll launch.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal told the outlet he would hope to get a toll up and running before Joe Biden's first term ends, but roadblocks to doing so include:

  • that the state Legislature isn't set to reconvene until early next year, meaning any changes to state law requiring the tolls raise $1 billion per year would likely need to be hashed out at a "special session" sometime sooner;
  • that any new toll price would need to be approved by the MTA board, and then reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration;
  • and that a significantly altered tolling structure may require the MTA to redo its environmental analysis of the program, which took two years to complete.

Attorney and law professor Michael Gerrard, who's assisting Comptroller Brad Lander in his plans to sue the state to launch the tolls as planned, warned that that entire process could last into 2025 "or even longer," Gothamist said.

Given Trump's pledge to kill congestion pricing, the time to make it happen could be now or never.

In other news:

  • See where prominent New York politicos stand on Gov. Hochul congestion pricing pause. (New York Focus)
  • What if New Jersey residents paid $1,000 each to see New York City's fireworks? (Hell Gate)
  • CBD Tolling Program skeptic Nicole Gelinas is not buying congestion pricing supporters' chances in court. (City Journal)
  • Mayor Adams warns New Yorkers of NYC parking ticket text scam. (Gothamist)
  • MTA adds subway service on several lines. (NY1, Gothamist)
  • LIRR testing out pre-boarding ticket checks. (PIX11)

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