Where Do Top New York Politicians Stand on Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause?

Some of the state’s top Democrats slammed the governor, while others supported the pause or stayed mum. Republicans want congestion pricing killed altogether.

Sam Mellins   ·   July 2, 2024
Kathy Hochul paused the program in part to help Democrats win elections this fall in suburban congressional districts. But the move hasn’t neutralized Republican attacks. | Photos: Courtesy of Senate Democrats, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Office of Governor Kathy Hochul, and Gage Skidmore | Illustration: Maha Ahmed

On June 26, three weeks after Governor Kathy Hochul announced she was halting implementation of congestion pricing, the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted in favor of a resolution to put the program on pause.

The plan, which would have generated $15 billion in revenue for the MTA to implement upgrades to the city’s aging transit system, was set to take effect on June 30. Now, without an alternative funding source, the authority is planning to suspend dozens of major projects, including new stations, trains, and signals.

Hochul paused the program, Politico reported, in part to help Democrats win elections this fall in suburban congressional districts, where many voters opposed the $15 toll to enter downtown Manhattan during peak travel hours. But the move hasn’t neutralized Republican attacks: All five Republican Congress members representing New York City or its suburbs have said that they won’t be satisfied until the plan is killed entirely, a step Hochul hasn’t seemed willing to take.

Meanwhile, attitudes among Democratic officials vary. Some of the state’s top Democrats, like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Dan Goldman, have called for the program to be reinstated, and sharply criticized the governor for endangering the MTA’s finances. A coalition led by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander is planning to sue Hochul and ask a judge to order her administration to begin the program.

Others have backed the pause or staked out a more neutral position. But none of the state’s top Democrats have called for the plan to be scrapped altogether.

We compiled the positions of the key politicians representing New York City and its surroundings. Here’s where they stand.

Congestion Pricing Pause Supporters
Congestion Pricing Pause Opponents
Unclear
Sam Mellins is senior reporter at New York Focus, which he has been a part of since launch day. His reporting has also appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Intercept, THE CITY, and The Nation. 
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