Our transportation system is in a state of crisis. Cuts to basic upkeep have crippled the subway and bus networks. Delays on the subway have tripled over the last five years. Subway stations are literally crumbling to pieces, and aging trains and signal systems can’t keep up with growing ridership. Meanwhile, streets across the five boroughs are increasingly clogged with traffic, which results in buses that travel at walking speeds, sky-high taxi fares, delayed deliveries, and increased danger to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Fix NYC panel’s congestion pricing plan is the solution. It’s how we fix the subways. It’s how we make our streets safer. It’s how we lay the foundation for a more sustainable metropolis.
It’s long past time for elected leaders in Albany to fix our transit system. As the state finalizes its 2018-2019 budget, Albany must make a complete overhaul of New York City’s transit system their first priority.
Currently, only people using the subway and buses — the most efficient forms of transit — pay to travel in Manhattan. Meanwhile, drivers in private vehicles, which hog space, pollute the air, and endanger millions every year, travel for free.
This congestion creates real costs for every New Yorker: traffic congestion costs the city $20 billion annually, up 50% over the last decade. Congestion costs Brooklyn and Bronx commuters over $1,000 every year, and it costs Queens commuters nearly $1,500 annually. It cripples delivery businesses, and leads to higher rates of injury and death citywide.
Under this plan, everyone contributes something to fixing New York City’s broken transit network, and everyone gets something in return. It prioritizes the fundamental needs of a vast majority of regular New Yorkers — particularly lower-income workers, outer-borough residents, and seniors, who rely on public transit — over the vocal objections of a largely wealthy few, who have abused street space for too long. This plan simply ensures everyone pays their fair share.
The status quo is no longer an option: the city’s future must be focused on sustainable transportation. We demand that the state codify congestion pricing into it’s 2018-2019 budget and return New York to its rightful place as a worldwide leader in transportation equity, sustainability, and safety.