FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2008
STATEMENT BY MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON SENATE AMENDING CONGESTION PRICING LEGISLATION
"We've taken another step towards implementing a congestion pricing plan that is equitable and won't be a burden on lower income New Yorkers and that will result in an immediate $354 million in federal funds for mass transit improvements. The amendments that the Senate introduced last night to their bill will address many of the remaining concerns that we've been hearing from the City Council and members of the State Legislature. This legislation already made certain that all revenues from congestion pricing will go to the MTA Capital plan. The bill also already included language to make sure neighborhoods throughout our City will have the necessary tools to deal with parking concerns. Now, the bill includes new language that will make certain that lower income New Yorkers - anyone eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit - are reimbursed for congestion pricing fees. This amended bill also now includes provisions that will make it certain that commuters who use Hudson River Port Authority crossings are contributing their share of revenue to the MTA Capital plan, which will result in more funds for mass transit improvements throughout our region. In addition, this legislation now also includes prevailing wage requirements for any projects that utilize revenue from congestion pricing. The bill will also exempt anyone with a handicap license plate or a New York City handicapped tag from paying a congestion pricing fee.
"Members of the City Council and the State Legislature have raised important concerns in good faith over the past several months of negotiations. We've adopted the proposal of the bipartisan, jointly appointed Congestion Mitigation Commission, and we've now addressed many of the substantive remaining concerns or issues that have been raised. This bill is one everyone can stand behind and be proud of - most importantly because it will reduce traffic, cut pollution and raise billions of dollars to make badly needed improvements to our mass transit system."
Stu Loeser/John Gallagher (212) 788-2958