Governor announces ‘indefinite pause’ for controversial NYC tolling

By Nick Reisman | 06/06/2024 06:31 AM EDT

Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York City’s economic recovery could be hamstrung by toll plan.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul meets with United States Ambassador to the Holy See Joe Donnelly.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has reversed her public support for a congestion pricing toll plan in New York City. Pablo Esparza/AP

ALBANY, New York — A $15 toll plan meant to reduce traffic in Manhattan below 60th Street that has become a political headache for Democrats in New York will be halted indefinitely, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

The Democrat, in a videotaped message, said she would ask top officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to “pause” the implementation of the plan, known as congestion pricing, a reversal of her public support for it.

The whiplash move by the governor, first reported Tuesday evening by POLITICO, comes as New York City has struggled to regain lost office workers and tourism following the Covid-19 pandemic — a problem that Hochul believes could be made worse by the tolls.

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The congestion pricing plan was first set in motion in 2019 by state officials and was considered a major revenue raiser for the MTA, the region’s mass transit agency, and as a way to reduce carbon emissions and traffic in the city.

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