As Congestion Pricing Deadline Passes, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander & Columbia Law Professor Michael Gerrard Discuss Steps Toward Litigation

As Congestion Pricing Deadline Passes, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander & Columbia Law Professor Michael Gerrard Discuss Steps Toward Litigation

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NEW YORK, NY – On June 30th, the planned implementation date of congestion pricing in New York City pursuant to the Traffic Mobility & MTA Reform Act of 2019, adopted by the Legislature and signed by the then-Governor, which remains legally in-effect, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and Professor Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law School issued the following statements about the impact of the Governor’s last-minute decision to pause the policy, as well as the path forward toward litigation:  

“Subway and bus riders are the bread and butter of our city’s working class and the whole region’s economy. Today should have been the day they had confidence in investments for new signals, on-time trains, accessible stations, and expanded service. Instead, as a result of the Governor’s eleventh-hour, unlawful decision to indefinitely postpone the legally-mandated congestion pricing program, working New Yorkers will face preventable subway delays, worsening gridlock, air quality alerts, and even MTA service cuts,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “The capital improvements funded by congestion pricing would have finally delivered high-quality service to outer borough neighborhoods that are too-often left behind. As the MTA Board made clear: halting congestion pricing means no Second Avenue Subway extension to Harlem, no Interborough Express, no elevators or accessibility improvements at numerous stations that were promised–and according to a new study, this decision could cost the City over 100,000 jobs. We have convened a coalition of legal experts–led by Michael Gerrard, one of the nation’s foremost environmental lawyers–along with transit riders, disability justice advocates, business leaders, and other stakeholders to explore all possible legal paths to challenge the governor’s unlawful decision.”  

“Today would have been the start of a new New York City–one with faster and more frequent subway trains and buses, cleaner air, lower levels of traffic, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” said Columbia Law Professor Michael Gerrard. “The MTA Board’s June 26 resolution makes clear that the agency is prepared to enact congestion pricing, and the State is solely responsible for the ongoing pause, which potentially violates multiple state and federal statutes. Legal action provides an opportunity to get New York City and its transit system back on track. Our coalition–composed of experts in environmental, disability, and administrative law–will make further announcements on litigation in the coming weeks.”  

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