Hempstead becomes 1st town on Long Island to file lawsuit against NYC congestion pricing plan

Friday, May 3, 2024
Town of Hempstead files lawsuit against NYC's congestion pricing plan
NJ Burkett has the story about new lawsuits against NYC's congestion pricing plan.

HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- Another lawsuit was filed Thursday to stop New York City's congestion pricing plan before it goes into effect in eight weeks.

The Town of Hempstead filed the federal lawsuit, making it the first on Long Island to take legal action against the controversial tolling plan.

Drivers say it's already too expensive to come into Manhattan. Some are already resigned to paying the congestion pricing toll.

"I think it's a lot of money and I think they're pricing businesses out of New York and I'm a Democrat," one driver said.

But others aren't ready to give up.

"Nothing's a done deal in this world. Nothing's a done deal," said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.

Clavin filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop congestion pricing and seeking a permanent injunction against the plan on civil rights grounds. The suit says it has not been properly authorized and treats different classes of drivers differently.

"I hope we are the start of a tidal wave of litigation against the MTA," Clavin said. "I hope everybody's on board and I hope it's not just Long Island. I hope the other areas join us."

Beginning on Sunday, June 30, license plate readers and EZ-pass sensors will slap a toll on virtually every vehicle entering Manhattan, south of 60th Street.

It will be $15 for cars and more for trucks. Taxis will be charged $1.25 per ride and $2.50 for ride share vehicles.

It's expected to raise a billion dollars a year to maintain and upgrade the New York City transit system. MTA officials are adding trains for what they hope will be a surge of new riders.

LIRR President Rob Free says it will benefit riders and lure more commuters to mass transit.

"Congestion pricing has been put on hold, right? Because of these lawsuits," Free said. "Once we get the OK for congestion pricing, the money that we would use, first and foremost, would be used to purchase new cars for our customers. So we would decommission the older cars and put in the new cars, which would greatly benefit our customers and help us improve service."

ALSO READ | New York Congestion Pricing: What to Know

ny congestion pricing plan
FILE - Heavy traffic fills Third Avenue, in New York's Manhattan borough near the United Nations, Sept. 20, 2021.
Ted Shaffrey


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