New York City's proposed congestion pricing plan would help raise billions of dollars for mass transit projects and provide traffic congestion and air quality benefits throughout the region. Yet to hear some politicians tell it, congestion pricing is nothing but a "regressive tax" which would impact "working stiffs" who must drive to their jobs.
But how many workers in these politicians' districts would actually be affected by a congestion pricing fee? No matter where you look and how you slice it - by county or by local, state, or federal legislative district - the answer is: Not many.
An examination of 2000 Census data, done by the Tri-State Campaign and the Pratt Center for Community Development, shows that the vast majority of commuters in New York City and the surrounding counties would not be affected by a congestion pricing fee because they do not drive alone to the proposed congestion pricing zone (Manhattan below 60th Street). The analysis also shows that vehicle-owning households throughout the region are wealthier than households without access to a vehicle. These trends hold true not only in Manhattan but in the outer boroughs, in New Jersey, on Long Island, and in Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties.
The fact sheets contain, for each county or legislative district, a breakdown of commuting patterns by mode and destination, vehicle ownership statistics, and the average incomes of vehicle-owning households and non-vehicle-owning households.