Bipartisan Hudson Valley lawmakers join NJ lawsuit to block MTA's congestion pricing plan
An evenly bipartisan group of Hudson Valley lawmakers joined a legal fight to block the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's congestion pricing plan, which is scheduled to take effect this spring.
Most commuters waiting for the 10:28 a.m. train to Hoboken from Harriman told News 12 they dislike the congestion pricing plan for various reasons.
Beginning this spring, anyone driving south of 60th Street must pay a toll of up to $23 during peak hours.
Including bridge or tunnel tolls, some Hudson Valley commuters will pay more than $40 to get to work each day.
"I kind of view that as putting a cover charge on Manhattan," John Duffy, who was returning home to Brooklyn from Lake George Thursday, said.
"We're paying for it," said Ben Brafi, who commutes into New York City twice a week for work, "and it's not right."
State Sens. James Skoufis and Rob Rolison and Assemblymembers Aileen Gunther and Chris Eachus held a press conference at the Harriman train station Thursday they are joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation over congestion pricing.
In the suit, the United Federation of Teachers is seeking an injunction blocking the plans until the suit is settled.
They contend the plan would inflict environmental and economic damage.
"They absolutely, certainly, did not consider the unique inadequateness of train service here in Orange County," Skoufis said.
An MTA spokesperson said the agency is investing $100 million into new rail sidings on the Port Jervis line and will make stations in Otisville, Tuxedo and Sloatsburg accessible to commuters with disabilities.
The spokesperson said those projects will be funded partly through congestion pricing.
Republicans state Assemblymen Karl Brabenec and Brian Maher also filed statements opposing the new tolls.