A new report released by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a research group, is looking to counter the claims that the recently-proposed congestion pricing plan will unfairly target low-income New Yorkers, the New York Times reports.
The group mined census data and looked at commuting patterns in all the State Assembly and Senate districts that are served by the MTA to come up with their conclusion. What they found is that in most of these districts less than 4 percent of the drivers would be driving into the congestion pricing zone, and in other parts it was still a single-digit percentage of drivers commuting into the congestion pricing zone.
Their research also showed that generally speaking those commuters who used cars earned more than those using public transit within the boundaries of NYC. Elected officials like Mayor Bill de Blasio have previously expressed opposition to the plan on the grounds that congestion pricing might unfairly target commuters from Brooklyn and Queens; the Tri-State Campaign’s research however showed that most NYC commuters using cars and entering the congestion zone were from Manhattan, and the highest percentage came from the Upper East Side.
State Assembly member David Weprin told the New York Times that the report didn’t take into account how outer borough commuters would need to make their way into the congestion zone to run errands or the fact these drivers also have to shell out money on parking and gas. He also said it didn’t take into account people with disabilities, who cannot access many of the city’s subway stations and have to commute by car.
In a rebuttal to the assemblyman’s overall argument, the executive director of the Tr-State Campaign, Nick Sifuentes, told the Times that it’s unfair to legislate for the small portion of people who drive into Manhattan compared to the massive amount of people that ride the subway everyday.
Since the congestion pricing plan still needs to be approved by the state legislature, concerns on both sides will have to be taken into account no matter what.