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State (Probably) Will Bring Congestion Pricing to New York City

January 07, 2019

With the election over, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reelected, and Democrats having taken control of both houses of the New York state legislature, it appears likely (or at least more likely than ever before) that Albany finally will bring congestion pricing in one form or another to New York City as a way to cut traffic and finance mass transit improvements.

Before advocates rejoice, however, it is worth noting that congestion pricing has been on the table for New York City for many, many years and has not yet been adopted. Michael Bloomberg was a strong supporter when he was mayor, and earlier this year Gov. Cuomo pushed to include at least some funding in the budget for the infrastructure required for congestion pricing. Gov. Cuomo has referred to congestion pricing as “an idea whose time has come” and, in his 2018 State of the State address, referred to it (somewhat obliquely) as “an exclusive zone in Manhattan where additional charges could be paid.” Nevertheless, the budget that the legislature adopted this past Spring did not include funding for congestion pricing (although it did add fees on taxis and other for-hire vehicles on trips into Manhattan south of 96th Street).

Charlotte A. Biblow, a partner in the environmental, land use and municipal law and litigation departments of Farrell Fritz, can be reached at cbiblow@farrellfritz.com.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Friday, November 30, 2018, Vol 260 – No. 105

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