Tip Sheets

Cornell expert to NY leaders: ‘Sky does not fall’ with congestion pricing

Media Contact

Kaitlyn Serrao

Governor Kathy Hochul announced an indefinite delay to congestion tolling in New York City, weeks before the first-in-the-nation system was set to launch.

Nicholas Klein

Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning

Nicholas Klein, assistant professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University, is an expert on transportation planning. His research looks at the factors that influence how people travel daily as well as issues of equity and sustainability in transportation.

Klein says:

“We know from the experiences of other cities that have implemented congestion pricing that public support is at its nadir right before implementation. That is when the public, media, and politicians panic. But time and again, we see that the sky does not fall when cities implement congestion pricing. 

“This crisis in confidence is emblematic of the lack of leadership on congestion pricing from the governor, mayor, and MTA.”

Zakhary Mallett

Department of City and Regional Planning

Zakhary Mallett is an expert in transportation pricing and travel behavior at Cornell University. He hopes the congestion tolling plan is not abandoned, but reexamined to fix any shortcomings in its goals.

Mallett says:

"It is unfortunate to see the country's first congestion pricing program halted. Like many, I had hoped New York City’s congestion pricing program could set the stage for other metropolitan areas to learn and adapt from.

“But the program was not without shortcomings, not the least of which was its conflicting goals — to alleviate congestion, yet also generate money from congestion for transit. Ideally, congestion pricing is not a relied-upon revenue stream, but a set-aside 'extra.' The idea is to charge travelers for the costs of congestion (e.g., delay time, extra transportation resources), and use when and where revenue is generated to identify when and where additional transportation capacity is needed. I encourage the Governor and colleagues to not abandon congestion pricing, but to use this pause as an opportunity to make the goals and operation of the program sounder."

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