Home Community Malliotakis Presses Secretary Buttigieg on Congestion Pricing, Pushes for Transparency

Malliotakis Presses Secretary Buttigieg on Congestion Pricing, Pushes for Transparency

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, pressed on July 19 U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on New York City’s plan to implement a Congestion Pricing Plan, calling for a thorough Environmental Impact Study and the full release of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) answers to the Federal Highway Administration’s 430 required technical questions for full transparency. 

“New York City’s Congestion Pricing Plan is the latest cash grab by New York City, New York State, and the MTA”, Malliotakis said. “Given this program is the first in the nation, the Federal Highway Administration has a responsibility to conduct a full and thorough Environmental Impact Study versus a simple assessment, along with an Economic Impact Study. I don’t want my constituents to be guinea pigs. I don’t support this plan at all, but if the City does move forward, we need to make sure it’s being done right and see what the actual impact will be on businesses, residents, and the surrounding communities.”

During the hearing, Buttigieg claimed the process would be thorough and transparent but to date, only a simple environmental assessment, not a full study, has been required and he did not commit to releasing the 430 questions and answers to the public.

Malliotakis has also called for more public hearings to ensure the process is fair and transparent. While Buttigieg reaffirmed everything is going “by the book,” with over 500 comments received, other projects across the nation that impact populations the size of the New York City metro area have historically garnered tens of thousands of public comments.

“If we believe in transparency, we want to make sure we get that information out in the public domain,” Malliotakis added.

Malliotakis has been outspoken against New York City’s Congestion Pricing Plan since her time in the New York State Assembly. In Congress, Malliotakis has spearheaded several bipartisan efforts to delay and/or stop the city’s plan altogether, including submitting amendments to the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill to ensure federal dollars aren’t used to implement the program until an economic impact analysis is completed and publicized, and a credit system is established for residents for who already pay a toll to connect to the city’s center where congestion pricing is established.

Additionally, Malliotakis and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) have introduced the Economic Impact of Tolling Act, legislation that would prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from implementing Congestion Pricing Programs until an economic impact analysis is completed and made available to the public and policymakers as to the program’s potential impacts and consequences. Malliotakis has also introduced the Protection Against Double Tolling Act, legislation that would give individuals who reside on either side of a tolled bridge a credit toward any congestion pricing fee to prevent double-tolling.