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Local Rockland Officials Applaud Governor Hochul’s Decision to Reconsider Congestion Pricing Plan

In September 2022, local elected officials and community advocates from Rockland County sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul expressing their concerns over the proposed congestion pricing plan. The letter, which was sent on September 8, 2022, urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to exempt Rockland County residents from the new surcharge.

The letter highlighted the disparities in public transportation access between Rockland County and areas east of the Hudson River. The officials pointed out that Rockland County has only five train stations, none of which provide direct service to Manhattan, unlike their neighbors who enjoy nearly 45 train stations with direct routes to the city.

The letter argued that until transit access is significantly improved, imposing congestion pricing would be an unfair burden on Rockland County residents. The officials emphasized that Rockland residents would be forced to pay thousands of dollars annually without having a convenient transit alternative. They also noted that Rockland County has been contributing millions of dollars annually to subsidize the region’s mass transit system, despite receiving inadequate investment in return.

The officials criticized the lack of representation for Rockland County in the decision-making process regarding the congestion pricing plan, which they felt disregarded the needs and voices of their community. The letter concluded with a plea for the MTA to exempt Rockland County residents from congestion pricing until a viable one-seat ride option into Manhattan is available.

In a recent statement to Monsey Scoop, several officials named in the letter expressed relief that Governor Hochul has put the congestion pricing plan on hold. They stated, “We are pleased as the governor is reconsidering it. This will have a significant impact on Rockland residents, and we were hoping that it wouldn’t go into effect. We appreciate that she’s reconsidering it.”

The letter was signed by a group of concerned officials, including:

  • Aron Wieder, Legislator, Rockland County
  • Itamar Yeger, Legislator, Rockland County
  • Abe Sicker, Mayor, Village of New Hempstead
  • David Wanounou, Council Member, Town of Ramapo
  • Shimon Moses, Deputy Mayor, Village of Airmont
  • Isaac Weiss, Trustee, Village of Airmont
  • Shmuli Fromovitz, Trustee, Village of Chestnut Ridge
  • Chaim Rose, Trustee, (Now Deputy Mayor) Village of Chestnut Ridge
  • Shalom Mintz, Deputy Mayor, Village of New Hempstead
  • Adam Reich, Trustee, Village of New Hempstead
  • Moshe Shullgasser, Trustee, Village of New Hempstead
  • Jennifer Eisenstein, Trustee, Village of New Hempstead
  • Ilan Fuchs, Deputy Mayor, (Now Mayor) Village of Pomona
  • Mendy Lasker, Trustee, (Now Deputy Mayor) Village of Pomona
  • Moshe Greenberg, Trustee, Village of Pomona
  • Sruly Eisenbach, Trustee, (Now Deputy Mayor) Village of Spring Valley
  • Joseph Gross, Trustee, Village of Spring Valley
  • Asher Grossman, Trustee, Village of Spring Valley
  • Israel Cherns, Trustee, Village of Wesley Hills
  • Milton Shwartz, Trustee, Village of Wesley Hills

The officials remain hopeful that their efforts will result in a fair resolution that considers the unique challenges faced by Rockland County residents.

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