Gov. Hochul pauses congestion pricing, leaving MTA with $15B shortfall

It’s been two weeks since Governor Kathy Hochul put an indefinite "pause" on congestion pricing in New York and is no closer to finding an alternative revenue source for the MTA now that it is $15 billion short.

It will now be up to the state legislature to decide how to fill this budget hole - but lawmakers are not set to return to Albany until next year.

When Hochul pulled the plug on congestion pricing, there were only two days left of the legislative year. Before lawmakers went home, Hochul tried to convince legislators to increase taxes on New York City businesses as a way to raise revenue. But this was turned down by lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly.

At the end of session, legislative leaders said they would likely return to Albany at some point to discuss how to fund the MTA, but that will likely not be any time soon.


NYC congestion pricing plan indefinitely paused, Hochul says

NYC's congestion pricing plan will be indefinitely paused, an action that is driven by the cost of living and economic recovery concerns for NYC, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

"I’m not going to have the members come back until there is a set agenda," Heastie said.

But on Tuesday, Hochul insisted that there is no need for urgency and new MTA projects are proceeding as planned.

"None of those stopped," Hochul said about the Second Avenue subway extension project and more.

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But MTA officials just hours later said that they have indeed stopped work on the Second Avenue subway extension and made it clear that numerous other projects are in jeopardy while the MTA focuses on repair work.

"Yes, we have stopped work on Second Avenue subway," MTA Construction Chief Jamie Torres-Springer said. "We have in a couple of cases issued stop work orders on projects that do not strictly meet that state of good repair requirements."

The Regional Plan Association sent a letter to Hochul saying that around $10 billion in matching funds from the federal government for around 95 subway projects are now also at risk of being lost.

City Comptroller Brad Lander says this is exactly why he is leading a coalition to possibly sue the governor and the MTA over this congestion pricing pause.

"We all make mistakes sometimes, an indefinite pause on congestion pricing is a big mistake," Lander said.

For the state legislature, Speaker Heastie made it clear that if it’s not congestion pricing, then the money has to come from somewhere.

We asked if that meant raising taxes.

"If there’s no congestion pricing it will be raising revenue," Heastie said.

Heastie also confirmed that he has not had any recent discussions with the Governor about congestion pricing nor how the state plans to raise revenue for the MTA.