BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The Riders Alliance — a nonprofit that advocates for reliable and affordable public transportation — released a report on Tuesday showing that congestion pricing would benefit Queens riders who rely on express buses to commute to work each day.
Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced FixNYC — a plan that would use congestion pricing to generate over $810 million annually, which would be used to fund the city’s subway system. The congestion surcharges would include $11.52 for individual vehicles, $25.34 for trucks and $2 to $5 for for-hire-vehicles (FHVs) when entering certain heavily trafficked zones.
According to the Riders Alliance, this plan would lower the number of drivers on the road, making for a faster bus commute in and out of the city during rush hours.
Commuters traveling from Queens and Brooklyn depend on express buses, which cost $6.50 a ride, to get to Manhattan each day. On average, commuters spend over 90 minutes a day and over 15 hours a week in transit.
“To make ends meet, [commuters] have to get up earlier and come home later than the rest of us,” said Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for the Riders Alliance. “An extra hour or two hours per week gained from congestion pricing would mean real time for real people to take care of themselves and their families. With so much talk about fairness, congestion pricing returns a truly priceless resource to folks who can spare precious little of it. Congestion pricing could mean an extra moment together over breakfast, a little more help with homework or housework, another chapter before bedtime, a longer kiss goodnight. When Albany takes up the issue next year, express bus commuters from the outer reaches of the city — and their families — should be high on the governor’s and legislators’ packed agenda.”