For immediate release: October 24, 2007
Contact: Kate Slevin, Veronica Vanterpool
Phone: 212-268-7474

New Data Proves Congestion Pricing is Progressive Policy

Fact Sheets Available for every New York City Council District, State Assembly and Senate District, and U.S. Congressional District in the Metro Region

Citywide, fewer than 5% of commuters would be affected by congestion pricing and low and moderate income communities would gain the most from the policy, a new analysis done by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Pratt Center for Community Development reveals.

In no NYC legislative district would more than 7.2% of workers actually incur the charge for their daily commute, and in Assembly Districts where most households earn $40,000 or less, only 2.8% of commuters now drive to the Manhattan Central Business District. In those same districts, 64% of households do not even have access to a car.

“These fact sheets are a valuable tool for policymakers as they consider the merits of congestion pricing,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.  “They clearly show that congestion pricing is designed to redistribute the resources of a wealthy few in order to benefit the transit needs of the many. We hope they will help correct some of the misconceptions that have been circulating about the proposed plan.” 

In all but one Assembly District within New York City, the average income of households with access to a car is 50% higher than for households without access to a car, and in nearly half of districts, average income is twice as high.

“This data confirms that low and moderate income communities have the most to gain and the least to lose from congestion pricing,” said Joan Byron, Director of the Sustainability and Environmental Justice Initiative at the Pratt Center for Community Development. “The reduction in through traffic will mean less pollution and congestion for neighborhoods outside the zone. And revenue from congestion pricing can be invested in immediate, cost-effective improvements like Bus Rapid Transit that will connect underserved communities to economic opportunity.

“To fully deliver on the promise of congestion pricing, the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission must create a mechanism that guarantees that the funds generated will go only toward transit improvements, and in which New York’s communities will be fairly represented.”

Based on an analysis of Census data, the analysis includes vehicle ownership rates, income levels for households with and without vehicles, and details about how New York City workers commute.   A fact sheet for each district shows how many workers would be impacted by the current congestion pricing plan. The fact sheets are available at www.tstc.org and www.prattcenter.net