by Adam Roberts
In 2019, congestion pricing was passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo. A coalition of groups, including AIA New York, led the successful effort to get the law approved. AIANY’s Executive Director, Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, was subsequently appointed to the MTA’s Major Construction Review Unit, which would oversee the direction of congestion pricing funds.
However, the implementation of congestion pricing has been significantly delayed. Former President Trump prevented federal approval of congestion pricing, pushing its start date back by years. Implementation has only begun to move ahead since President Biden took office in 2021. However, since then, the pace has been slow, with a lengthy and contentious public review process delaying implementation even further.
After years of setbacks, congestion pricing finally appears to be moving forward. Gov. Kathy Hochul has been a vocal supporter of congestion pricing, using her budget proposal to push the program ahead. Meanwhile, the MTA is nearing the completion of its public review process. With final federal approval, the MTA will be able to design and build the physical infrastructure for the program, allowing for its start by the end of 2023.
Congestion pricing should allow the MTA to more adequately fund its ambitious capital plan. Coupled with federal infrastructure funding, long-planned major projects, such as the Second Avenue Subway and Interborough Express, may finally move ahead. AIANY will continue to advocate for a speedy implementation of congestion pricing and keep its members updated on the status of key projects.