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NYC Proceeds with Congestion Pricing Plan, Fight Now to Exempt Motorcoaches

If You Operate in New York City, Congestion Pricing is Coming Fight for a Motorcoach Exemption

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New York City is moving forward to implement a congestion pricing toll program for the Central Business District of New York City, referred to as the Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP).

Details of the final tolling structure are not decided, several of the options proposed would include tolling private motorcoaches and buses entering the Central Business District, including the Port Authority terminal and other downtown locations. Without an exemption for motorcoaches, trips to New York City could get a lot more expensive.

The proposed CBDTP is currently at the environmental review stage, with a 30-day comment period on the environmental assessment or EA (a document describing the CBDTP). Virtual public hearings are being held to take oral comments on the EA.

ABA URGES ALL BUS OPERATORS WHO TRAVEL TO NEW YORK CITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HEARINGS.

There will be 6-virtual hearings, with commenters permitted 3 minutes to speak. Details on the hearing schedule and links to sign up to participate are as follows:
Thursday, August 25, 2022, 5-8 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)
Saturday, August 27, 2022, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)
Sunday, August 28, 2022,1-4 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)
Monday, August 29, 2022, 1-4 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)
Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 5-8 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)
Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (sign up to speak)

Hearings will be held via Zoom and livestreamed at mta.info/CBDTP.

To participate by PC/Tablet/Smartphone:
Join link: https://mta.zoom.us/j/82606738045
Webinar ID: 826 0673 8045

To participate by Phone:
Dial-in: 1-888-788-0099 (toll-free)
Webinar ID: 826 0673 8045, #, #

It is requested, but not required, that those wishing to speak, sign up by 7 p.m. the day before the hearing at mta.info/CBDTP or by calling the Public Hearing Hotline at 646-252-6777.

TALKING POINTS: To assist in the virtual public hearings, ABA offers the following talking points:

• I am a bus operator with operations serving New York’s Central Business District. [elaborate: # of years in business, # of annual trips to NYC, # of passengers annually, type of bus services provided, etc.]

• Although I support efforts to address congestion in the city, I am very concerned by the options proposed in the Environmental Assessment and the limited time available to review the documents and participate in this process.

• New York City is a national tourism and commuter destination, and any congestion relief or pricing models need take into consideration the concerns of interested parties beyond the local geographic area.

• Operations like mine are critical to any congestion relief modeling, because we take cars off the road – plain and simple, and motorcoaches often are the only form of transportation available to low-income and underserved communities.

• Several options proposed in the New York Central Business District Tolling Program would include tolling buses/motorcoaches like mine serving the City. This is counterintuitive to providing congestion relief.

• This process is moving too quickly, you are not allowing sufficient time and conducting sufficient outreach to the many transportation operators who serve the City – there are hundreds of operators like me that come from beyond New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

• I urge you to slow down this process, broaden your outreach beyond these 3 states, and ensure providers of mass transportation, both public and private – who provide actual congestion relief – are not subject to this proposal and are exempted from tolling costs.

• Motorcoaches need an exemption.

FILE COMMENTS: Written comments may also be submitted and are due by September 9, 2022. Click here to submit comments.

If you have any questions or wish to share a copy of your comments, please contact Brandon Buchanan at ABA at (202) 218-7227 or bbuchanan@buses.org.
 

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