MTA Continues to Short Change Rockland Commuters

This week, in a surprise announcement, the MTA established its Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program’s Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB). The Board will be tasked,
among other things, with recommending a plan for credits, discounts and/or exemptions for tolls paid the same day on bridges and tunnels.
Unfortunately, the MTA established its Review Board without any representation of MTA’s West of Hudson service region, meaning Rockland County will not be represented.
In response, County Executive Ed Day said, “Rockland County is the least served by the MTA of any other member of the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). Many of our resident commuters drive into Manhattan because of the dearth of transit options available to them and because of the sub-par, and often unreliable, rail service which is operated by NJ Transit via contract with Metro-North, and extremely limited in quantity and dismal in quality.”
Rockland is the only County in the MTA region that has a value gap, meaning our residents and businesses pay more to MTA than we receive back in transit service and funding. The last formal study, which was verified by the MTA’s own analysis, placed that gap at about $40 million each year and growing.
“The MTA is happy to take our money but loathe to provide service and it is both insulting and disrespectful to the people of Rockland,” said County Executive Day. “I urge that both the Traffic Mobility Review Board and the MTA Board ensure Rockland County residents receive a CBD toll exemption/discount and a river crossing toll credit as the congestion pricing plan process moves forward. Despite once again not having a seat at the table, I will be making sure that the plight of Rockland commuters, who will be dramatically impacted by congestion pricing tolls, is known. I urge Rockland County residents to also make
their voices heard next month at the upcoming public hearings.”
Rockland County’s MTA Board representative Frank Borelli expressed his concerns regarding the congestion pricing plan at this week’s MTA Board meeting.
“Rockland County has no one-seat ride to Manhattan and we already have a $40 million annual value gap between what Rockland pays to MTA and what we receive in return,” said Mr. Borelli. “I am voting against the approval of this Review Board because of its lack of representation for MTA’s West of Hudson
customers. This action is no refl ection on these qualifi ed individ uals, but there is a voice that’s been left out that should be heard.”
Borelli went on to say, “As Rockland County’s voting repre sentative on the MTA Board, I implore my colleagues and mem bers of the newly appointed Review Board to learn more about Rockland County’s decades-long inequity in the MTA region and act to ensure the CBD Tolling Program includes an exemption or heavy discount for Rockland residents and a credit for tolls we already pay to get to Manhattan.”
The MTA will hold public hearings on the project’s Environmental Assessment next month. The hearings are scheduled as follows and will be held online, accessible via the project’s web- site: NYC Central Business District Tolling Program (mta.info):
Thursday, Aug. 25, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 29, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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