FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2007
TEAMSTERS JOIN FELLOW LABOR ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT PLANYC
Mayor’s Proposal Continues to Gain Support With More Than 140 Groups on Board
Mayor Endorses Congestion Pricing Discounts of Two-Thirds for Cleaner or More Efficient Trucks – Truck Fee Would be $7 Instead of $21
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gary LaBarbera, President, Teamsters Joint Council 16, today announced that the Teamsters have joined a growing list of elected officials, labor, environmental, civic and business organizations supporting PlaNYC. In addition, Mayor Bloomberg announced today that the City would offer a two-thirds discount on congestion pricing fees for trucking fleet owners and individual diesel fuel operators who purchase cleaner burning more efficient vehicles, or retrofit existing vehicles to meet tougher standards, which will reduce the per-truck fee to $7 from $21. Joining the Mayor and President LaBarbera at today’s announcement were Michael Fishman, President Local 32BJ SEIU, Edward J. Malloy, President of the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and Ed Ott, Executive Director of the Central Labor Council.
“Support for PlaNYC and congestion pricing continues to grow, because the more people hear about this plan, the more they embrace it. The Teamsters know that this is right for our City and their members, and that this is the time to do it. We’re in jeopardy of losing $500 million in federal funds if we don’t act quickly,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Whether it’s from environmental or health groups, civic and business organizations, community groups or labor, the consensus of support that is building around this plan is unprecedented. Offering discounts to trucks with lower polluting emissions is good public policy and fits perfectly with our goals.”
“I am pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg, on behalf of the Teamsters Joint Council 16 Executive Board, in announcing our support for PlaNYC which will give New York a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable environment and economy,” said Gary LaBarbera. “The trucking industry is a lifeline to New York City's economy. PlaNYC will promote retrofitted trucks by providing a 66% discount on congestion pricing. This will not only provide a cleaner environment, but a stronger economy. The Teamsters Joint Council 16 will partner with Mayor Bloomberg to fight for state and federal funds to supplement NYC based trucks for retrofitting.”
“PlaNYC keeps our city ahead of the curve by offering development strategies to meet the challenges of a growing population and steer clear of the pitfalls of unplanned, unbalanced and inequitable growth,” said Mike Fishman, President of SEIU Local 32BJ and member of the Mayor's Commission on Economic Opportunity. “We agree with Mayor Bloombergthat we need to be smarter about our land-use policies.”
“Congestion is an issue we must address if we are to maintain our economic and environmental sustainability. The mayor's pilot plan represents the best option we have to reduce congestion and generate revenue to invest in transportation infrastructure,” said Edward J. Malloy. “The Administration's strong commitment to prevailing wage protections will assure that thousands of good jobs are created for working men and women in our industry. We urge the governor and legislature to move quickly on this issue.”
“We believe this is a bold and visionary plan that will benefit New York's working families for generations,” said Ed Ott, Executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council and member of the Mayor's Sustainability Advisory Board. “The labor community is enthusiastic about getting started on all of these bold plans and we congratulate Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership that will create good quality jobs and a more sustainable city for our future.”
Included in PlaNYC is a proposed pilot program to charge drivers a fee to enter the central business district in Manhattan. Revenue generated from the fee would be earmarked for much-needed transit improvements. More than $30 billion in regional transportation infrastructure improvements would be made possible through congestion pricing revenue.
The discounts on the proposed congestion pricing truck fee announced today will be offered to fleet owners and individual diesel truck owners to serve as an incentive to purchase new, cleaner, more efficient vehicles, or to invest in retrofits that will reduce pollution from the trucks they now use. All new trucks that register with the program and meet these new federal guidelines would qualify for a 66% discount on the $21 congestion pricing truck fee, which would reduce the fee to only $7. A diesel truck owner who retrofits a truck to reduce emissions by 85% using EPA-approved technology would qualify for the same discount. These discounts would cover the costs of such retrofits for the truck owners within approximately three years, The Mayor also announced today that the City plans to use Federal transportation grants – separate from any congestion pricing grants—to help truck owners pay the upfront cost of retrofits.
Last December, Mayor Bloomberg challenged New Yorkers to generate ideas for achieving ten key goals for the City’s sustainable future. New Yorkers in all five boroughs responded, and the result was PlaNYC, 127 initiatives focusing on the five key dimensions of the City’s environment – land, air, water, energy and transportation. PlaNYC proposals run from the relatively easy to achieve, like the already-underway replacement of thousands of traditional incandescent light bulbs in City buildings with compact fluorescent lights, to proposals that have never before been tried by a major American city, like planting mollusks in polluted waterways to naturally clean them. Together, these initiatives will help meet the challenges faced by New York City as its population continues to grow, with an expected 1 million more people arriving between now and 2030, while at the same time reducing the City's greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.
In addition to the 140 environmental, health, civic, business and labor organizations that are supporting PlaNYC, the list of City and State elected officials expressing support for PlaNYC, is growing and includes: Governor Eliot Spitzer; Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno; Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith; Congressman Joseph Crowley; Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum; Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer; Senators Liz Krueger (District 26), Bill Perkins (District 30), Eric T. Schneiderman (District 31), and Jose Serrano Jr. (District 28); Assembly Members Karim Camara (District 43), Adriano Espaillat (District 72), Richard N. Gottfried (District 75), Brian Kavanagh (District 74), and Linda Rosenthal (District 67; City Council Members Gale A. Brewer (District 6); Simcha Felder (District 44); Daniel R. Garodnick (District 4); James Sanders Jr. (District 31); Larry B. Seabrook (District 12); Melissa Mark Viverito (District 8); and David Yassky (District 33); and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.
Stu Loeser/John Gallagher (212) 788-2958
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