NEW YORK (WABC) – New York’s congestion pricing plan is again under attack from a bipartisan pair of lawmakers.
On Wednesday, New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat, was joined by New York Congresswoman Nicole Maliotakis, a Republican, to announce the creation of a bipartisan congressional task force to combat congestion pricing.
The caucus will use federal legislation, congressional oversight and the threat of lawsuits to stop the city’s plans to impose congestion pricing, Gottheimer and Maliotakis said.
They require a full environmental impact study to see how the plan will affect areas outside of Manhattan.
“We believe it will have a detrimental effect on the surrounding areas outside the congestion zone,” Maliotakis said. “Think of pollution as traffic that will be displaced.”
The announcement was the latest push in a long-running effort to end the controversial proposal.
Although it aims to reduce traffic in Manhattan’s busiest areas while providing much-needed funding for public transit, it remains unpopular.
It is expected to raise at least a billion dollars each year, revenue that the MTA relies on to maintain and upgrade the transit system.
“I call it some of the ugly things in our system: the power, the tracks, the signals, like the new R-211 that you talked about last week,” said New York City Transit President Rich Davey. “An opportunity to buy more of these new subway cars sooner.”
Wednesday’s announcement comes two months after Gottheimer and New York Republican Congressman Matt Lawler rolled out the bipartisan Congestion Tax Act.
The legislation would defund the MTA at the federal level when congestion pricing is implemented.
“New York City and the MTA are playing Russian roulette with their economy and are ready to attract all those hard-working commuters from Jersey, outlying areas and the New York suburbs, as my friend Congressman Lawler is presenting with their absurd congestion tax plan of $23 a day,” Gottheimer said at the time.
Although any tolls paid to cross the East River or the Hudson River will count towards the congestion charge.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she doubted the legislation would pass the Senate.
Washington gives the MTA about $2 billion a year and has allocated $15 billion for COVID relief.
RELATED | A New Jersey congressman is declaring war on New York City’s congestion pricing plan
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