In a recent statement, Rockland County Executive Day criticized Governor Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for their disregard of Rockland County residents in the congestion pricing conversation. County Executive Day highlighted the severe transit inequity faced by Rockland County residents, emphasizing the existence of a transit desert that leaves more than 60% of them with no choice but to drive into the city.
The statement issued by County Executive Day shed light on the plight of Rockland County residents who are compelled to use their vehicles to avoid being stranded due to the inadequate transit system. These residents include essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, and others who now face increased costs simply for using their own vehicles. The County Executive stressed that the congestion pricing plans put forward by Governor Hochul and MTA Chair Janno Lieber fail to address the concerns of Rockland County commuters, positioning them as an afterthought in the conversation.
County Executive Day expressed disappointment in the lack of emphasis placed on improving the lives of Rockland County residents in comparison to the focus on enhancing the quality of life in New York City. The statement condemned the move by Governor Hochul to proceed with the congestion pricing plan, which is viewed as an insult to families already grappling with high gas prices and the impact of record-breaking inflation.
Arguing for a fair resolution, County Executive Day called for Rockland County residents to be exempt from congestion pricing tolls. He pointed out that the county possesses a unique value gap of $40 million with the MTA, unmatched by any other member of the authority. Additionally, the statement proposed that residents should, at the very least, receive credits for the river crossing tolls they already pay when entering Manhattan, including the George Washington Bridge and the Tappan Zee Bridge, with a discounted rate for entering the congestion pricing zone.