WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — New York Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to take a ride on the MTA’s newest trains amid the ongoing battle over congestion pricing.
Though these new additions are considered the trains of the future, incorporating them into the existing system may get delayed.
Officials say the new trains have an accordion connection between cars, much like MTA buses, that are designed to speed up boarding and reduce the amount of time that trains sit in stations.
The money needed to pay for these trains, and to improve signals on the A line that runs through Rockaway and Brownsville, would come from congestion pricing, officials say.
“If it gets held up by litigation, that’ll be unfortunate because people who ride the A train deserve a train that’s as fast and reliable, as frequent as the L train. We cannot put in new signals, a $2 billion project, because we don’t have the certainty about when congestion pricing will allow us to collect that additional revenue,” MTA CEO and Chair Janno Lieber said.
Governor Phil Murphy has spoken out against congestion pricing, and he is not the only one. Other New Jersey officials have filed lawsuits against congestion pricing.
Lieber is blasting Murphy for getting in the way of progress for the MTA.
“In New Jersey, they’re focused on drivers, but they haven’t solved the fiscal crisis and the only solution so far is to hit the riders for 15 percent more fares without dealing with the whole scale of a 25 percent budget crisis,” Lieber said. “Phil Murphy is not on the ballot in Brownsville, he’s not on the ballot in Rockaway, he’s not on the ballot in Washington Heights, but those people aren’t going to get the quality of railroad service, of subway service, that they ought to have because New Jersey doesn’t want us to be able to toll our own roads like they toll their own roads.”
Lieber and Hochul will be making a public transit announcement at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Hearings on congestion pricing begin at the end of February.
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