City Hall, NY – In response to the congestion pricing Environmental Assessment (EA) released on August 10, 2022, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams submitted public comments to the Environmental Justice Stakeholders Working Group of the Central Business District Tolling Program. She expresses her concerns about persistent transit inequities for many communities of color in the outer-boroughs, and the environmental impacts on low-income communities of color.

In the letter, Speaker Adams points out that the study does not mention any efforts to lessen the burden of the CBD Tolling Program costs for low-income drivers, particularly those that may not have ready access to the E-Z Pass and who typically are not eligible for any discounts under the present cashless tolling program. She is also concerned about increases in parking demand within neighborhoods that are underserved by public transportation, and to park-and-ride surrounding LIRR stations in Queens.

Speaker Adams expresses concern that the CBD Tolling Program is also likely to significantly impact the taxi and for-hire vehicle industry at a time when drivers already face economic challenges with recovering to pre-pandemic levels of business. She calls on the government agencies involved to undertake proactive mitigation measures to improve air quality in the Bronx and Staten Island, where the CBD Tolling Program would result in increased commercial truck traffic.

The full comments can be accessed at this link.