Can Congress Throw Up The Roadblock That Ends Congestion Pricing?

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With congestion pricing now less than two months away from officially kicking in, time is running out for opponents of the plan to hope for a legal miracle to stop the plan from happening. Representative Josh Gottheimer (NJ- 5th) is one of the people in power opposed to the cash grab. To drum up support for the bill and a lawsuit New Jersey has filed against the MTA, Gottheimer showed up unannounced Wednesday morning at the MTA’s offices, asking for any papers to buttress the claims they need the congestion financing. Gottheimer appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to state why he’s one of the millions who are fed up with the transit group’s antics.

“The MTA would raise off the congestion tax, based on all publicly available information, $3 billion a year. They’re only supposed to raise, by New York law, $1 billion a year,” Gottheimer explained to Berman and Riedel. “So, the MTA, what do they do? They just said, well, that’s not true. I said, okay, then can you show me the math? Show the public how you came up with these numbers. And, crickets; they refused, so we did a FOIA request. They blew past the deadline on that, which is why I visited. I brought a duffel bag with me to get the documents, in case they got lost in the mail and shockingly, [Janno Lieber] hadn’t been in the office yet.  This was at noon, by the way.”

In addition to the lawsuit, Gottheimer also announced the creation of a bi-partisan bill he is co-sponsoring with Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY 11TH) “[We] introduced legislation to prevent and federally ban congestion pricing in the metro area. So these are the two actions we are taking right now, and of course I think transparency on their strategy would be a good thing. These guys just want to hide it, but listen, it’s the MTA, right. It’s a bottomless pit over there. It’s a mess, it’s the worst-managed mass transit system in the country, and the amount of money they blow, they literally throw away. $700 million dollars to fare-skippers. They blew a billion dollars on this 2nd Avenue subway stop, they literally built it too big by accident, they sent an extra billion. So this is the kind of mess over there.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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