Lancer Insurance
Monday, June 24, 2024

Several industry associations are cheering the recent postponement of New York City’s congestion pricing, which was scheduled to go into effect June 30. Drivers would have been assessed a toll of $15 for driving in Manhattan below 60th Street. As of press time, New York Governor Kathy Hochul halted the program indefinitely, citing a burden to working- and middle-class families.

Congestion pricing had been talked about for years and was fought hard against by everyone from everyday commuters to special interest groups to neighboring states—but the program also had its supporters. The program was designed to reduce vehicular traffic in Manhattan’s busiest areas with an anticipated revenue of $1 billion, which would have gone to NYC’s transit authority, MTA, for upgrades and improvements of the city’s transportation system.

NLANLA President Brett Barenholtz

Congestion pricing was a top agenda item at the National Limousine Association’s (NLA’s) advocacy event in Washington, D.C., last month, which included meetings with 68 legislators total (10 from New York and New Jersey). The NLA asked Congress to co-sponsor the Economic Impact of Tolling Act (H.R. 1759), which would prevent the Department of Transportation (DOT) from authorizing or implementing congestion pricing plans without first completing and publishing an economic impact analysis.

NLA President and New England Livery Association (NELA) President Brett Barenholtz:
“The NLA applauds Governor Hochul for taking action against congestion pricing. As we discussed with legislators on Capitol Hill last month, the public overwhelmingly opposes congestion taxes. They divert funds away from roads, failing to reduce congestion and instead merely moving it to areas less equipped to handle it. We continue to keep a watchful eye on what is happening in New York for potential impact to operators and passengers around the country in the future. Congestion pricing should not move forward unchecked.”

LANJLANJ President Mike Rose

Limousine Association of New Jersey President Mike Rose:
“Our membership is very happy to hear the news of the congestion pricing program being postponed and thank Governor Hochul for her stance on this matter. As we have previously made clear with the MTA and other organizations, we are sympathetic to their budget issues but do not feel that this program is being implemented properly and puts many of our members in the chauffeured transportation at a disadvantage as opposed to those who have a New York TLC License as well as the rideshare companies. The clients who travel in a chauffeured car from upstate New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania should not be penalized by because of their geographic location and the fact that they do not have a New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Base License. Additionally, this program penalizes those travelling on buses charging them a premium when they are trying to be conscious of congestion and emissions and choose a greener form of transportation. I am hopeful that when and if this program is implemented, it is done so in a more thoughtful and pragmatic approach taking into consideration for hire vehicles from adjoining states and those travelling as groups in motorcoaches and buses.”

LANYLANY President Jeff Rose

Limo Association of New York (LANY) President and NLA Legislative Committee Co-Chair Jeff Rose:
“As the president of the Limo Association of New York (LANY) and a board member of the NLA, I am thrilled that Governor Hochul has prioritized the best interests of New Yorkers regarding the congestion pricing rollout. While it may be a worthy tool down the road, its implementation was a bit rushed, and it showed in some of the procedures proposed. If nothing else, this will give the powers that be the time to reconsider some aspects of implementation while allowing the city’s economy to recover. Better to get it right than to push for right away.

nla

The NLA wishes to express its profound gratitude to Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.-5), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.-17) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.-11). Their Herculean efforts in D.C. on behalf of the working class are to be lauded. We thank them for their hard work.”

[06.07.24]