NEW YORK - The chorus of "No's" to congestion pricing is getting even louder, as a bi-partisan group of lawmakers from upstate New York are now honking their horns in opposition.
"We need to stop this. We need to consider this side of the river. We're not another country. We're not another state," said Assemblyman Chris Eachus of the 99th District, which includes Orange and Rockland Counties.
On Thursday, the delegation said it will join the lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers in protest of the MTA's plan to toll drivers who enter Manhattan south of 60th Street.
"Make no mistake, this rushed and shoddy plan is a tax on commuters," said 100th District Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. "Many hardworking families in Orange and Sullivan counties will face a significant and long-term financial impact."
In December, transit leaders moved forward with plans to charge as much as $15 a day to enter Midtown and Lower Manhattan. FDR Drive and the West Side Highway are excluded.
Called the Central Business District Tolling Program, it's expected to eventually generate $1B in revenue to help the MTA keep its wheels on the tracks.
However, State Senator James Skoufis of Rockland County says there isn't enough train service in his district to make trains a reliable alternative.
"Especially in the middle part of the day. You can go four or five hours without seeing a single train arrive here at the Harriman train station," Skoufis said.
The UFT released a statement welcoming the new co-plaintiffs, saying in part:
"We are determined to challenge the current regressive and discriminatory plan for congestion pricing; as now constituted, it will only succeed in moving traffic and pollution from one part of the city to another, even as it increases the economic burden on working- and middle-class communities."
We reached to the MTA for comment on our story but did not hear back.