Congestion Pricing the Only Way to Adequately Fund and Fix NYC Mass Transit but the Disabled and Elderly Traveling for Medical Care Must Be Protected from Tax on Private Vehicles

November 29, 2018

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas announced her support for a congestion pricing law as the only viable solution to adequately fund and fix the broken mass transit system and keep an affordable fare.  In the past, she has spoken of the need to fix the system without “picking the pockets of commuters” and has called the proposed fare hike “a slap in the face to every New Yorker who rides the subways.”

“While our communities are growing, people need a mass transit system they can rely on.  What we have now is a broken system with awful service, chronic delays and an atrocious lack of accessibility that is devastating to the elderly, to the disabled and to families with small children,” Simotas said. “Congestion pricing is a sustainable source of funding but it has to be the right plan which will include a method of exempting disabled people and the elderly from the tax when they travel to Manhattan for medical care,“ Simotas added.

Simotas also said the congestion pricing plan must have ironclad provisions for dedicating adequate funds to New York City Transit and not other parts of the MTA such as the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North Railroad.

Jesse Spector, Astoria resident and Riders Alliance member said, "Astoria commuters suffer through daily delays, never-ending construction, and lack of accessibility, even after stations are closed for months of cosmetic renovations. We are reaching a breaking point, and our buses are hardly any better than the trains. That's why I'm proud to see my Assemblywoman stand with constituents like me to fight for the resources we need to finally fix the transit system. Congestion pricing should be the cornerstone of any Albany funding plan, and this is the year we finally get it done. Riders across the district and Queens are ready to work alongside AM Simotas so that NYC transit works for all

Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, founder of Up-Stand, said, “We are happy to hear that Assemblywoman Simotas is announcing her support for congestion pricing. New Yorkers have missed job interviews, graduations, health care appointments, and educational opportunities time and again because of the inaccessibility and unreliability of our public transit service. State lawmakers need to pass a strategic plan to modernize our public transit system under the Fast Forward Plan without putting an additional burden on millions of riders who have already faced several recent fare hikes since 2012. Congestion pricing is a step in the right direction.”

Up-Stand is an Astoria- based organization working to improve accessibility for pregnant and nursing women, caregivers and families. The organization is a member of the Fix The Subway Coalition.