NEW YORK CITY - With congestion pricing just nine months from becoming a reality for New Yorkers, concerns are being expressed that the city itself is not ready.
Mainly the city is far behind schedule when it comes to speeding up bus lanes and expanding its protected bike lane program.
On Wednesday, the MTA’s chairman and CEO said the city has yet to meet commitments on bus lane infrastructure improvements.
"The mayor held a summit," MTA Chairman & CEO Janno Lieber said, "... a year and a half ago. I was there, and the announcement was we were going to do 150 miles of bus lanes in four years, where that means like 37, 38 (a year). We're not hitting that goal right now."
In April 2022, the mayor announced the city's commitment to new infrastructure for bike lanes and bus lanes. Those two modes of transportation are critically important, according to experts, as congestion pricing will have tens of thousands of drivers looking to see which new motive transportation may work better for them.
Felicia Park-Rogers, the Director of Infrastructure Projects at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign explains the importance:
"As people move out of cars, it doesn't mean that they're no longer moving. They're still moving. And they need to get from point A to point B We want them to do that safely and expeditiously. So, their bus needs to move more than four miles an hour so that they can run their errands, go to the store, see their friends, go to work, and stay out of the car. If the car is still the best option for them, they're not going to switch over to the bus. If the bus is running every 20 or 30 minutes, they're not going to switch over to the bus. Likewise, people can run their errands, take their kids to school, get to work if they have protected safe bike lanes and can move freely about the city and throughout the boroughs via bicycle as an alternative to using a car."
However, just as the MTA says the city is behind with building infrastructure, the group Transportation Alternatives tells Fox 5 the city is way behind on installing bike lanes. 10.7 miles have been built so far this year, despite the City Council's legal mandate for 50 miles to be built this year.
Experts and the MTA agree that the city's lack of progress on both bus and bike lanes threatens to lead drivers to choose to stay in their cars, which would defeat the purpose of congestion pricing.