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Governor Murphy and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the Groundbreaking for the New Portal North Bridge, August 1, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Buttigieg loses North Jersey in ’28 presidential primary

Statements on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s support of New York’s Congestion Pricing plan

By David Wildstein, May 05 2023 8:21 pm


“Today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow New York’s congestion pricing plan to move forward is unfair and ill-advised. The Administration’s decision to move forward without a true environmental impact study undercuts some of the Administration’s own long-term goals, including the Justice40 initiative.
“Since day one, I’ve stood against the disproportionate negative impacts of congestion pricing on New Jerseyans – a greater financial burden on New Jersey commuters, double tolling, toll shopping, a lack of revenue for NJ TRANSIT, outsized environmental burdens on certain North Jersey communities, and financial impacts on the Port Authority’s capital budget. Everyone in the region deserves access to more reliable mass transit, but placing an unjustified financial burden on the backs of hardworking New Jersey commuters is wrong. Simply put, it is a money grab.
“As a conceptual matter, I support congestion pricing, but it must be structured in a way that is fair to all sides. UntiI New York’s congestion pricing plan is fixed, I will keep working closely with partners from both states and both sides of the aisle, including Congressman Gottheimer and our congressional delegation, to halt implementation of this misguided tolling plan. Our Administration is closely assessing all legal options.”


“The U.S. Department of Transportation has ignored serious environmental impacts by moving to the next step with New York’s and the MTA’s cash-grabbing Congestion Tax. By the MTA’s own admission, their Congestion Tax plan would increase air pollution in New Jersey this year and until 2045. The Congestion Tax will send more trucks into northern New Jersey by the GW Bridge and into the outer boroughs to areas just outside of the tolling zone — hurting lower income families. The Bronx alone could face 700 more trucks every day contributing to massive pollution. The MTA also admitted that children in Bergen County near I-95 and the George Washington Bridge and in the Bronx will face increased air pollutants and toxins. Now, the Department of Transportation is doing the MTA’s bidding. They want to stick it to our families and commuters with a $23-a-day tax, but we won’t stand for it in Jersey — the fight is just beginning. I’m demanding the Department of Transportation reconsider their decision in the next 30 days.”


“I’ve said it before, and I will say it one more time: New Jerseyans are used to paying our fair share but New York’s congestion pricing scheme is fatally flawed and unnecessarily unfair.  USDOT should have required New York to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement. And the negatives still outweigh the positives for New Jerseyans. New York’s plan would saddle Jersey commuters with extra taxes on top of our already-high taxes without the needed financial return for our transit systems. Having the rubber stamp of approval by the federal government is wrong and an affront to New Jersey. Was Garden Staters’ input actually internalized at all in this latest announcement? It doesn’t seem so. USDOT is derelict in its duty. This plan as conceived should not stand and I’ll continue to work with the state and my colleagues to oppose it.”

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