Project Sponsors Encourage the Public to Participate and Comment; Public Comment Period Closes Sept. 9
MTA Bridges and Tunnels (MTA B&T), the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) today reminded the public that the series of six virtual public hearings on the proposed congestion pricing program, known formally as the Central Business District Tolling Program, begins this week with the first session taking place on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Environmental Assessment document was released online on Aug. 10 at https://mta.info/CBDTP and made available in more than 60 locations throughout the New York City metropolitan region (locations may be found on the website). The document evaluates the effects of the program compared with taking no action. The document finds that central business district tolling would accomplish the goal of New York State’s MTA Reform and Traffic Mobility Act of reducing traffic congestion in the Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) and raising revenue for investment in transit.
The public hearings will present a summary of the effects revealed in the Environmental Assessment (EA) including the seven different tolling scenarios under the Central Business District Tolling Alternative and their respective approximate assumed toll rates.
Ways to Comment on the Environmental Assessment
The series of public hearings begin on Thursday, Aug. 25, and conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Members of the public who wish to speak at the hearings can sign up online at mta.info/CBDTP. The hearings will be accessible online at mta.info/CBDTP at these dates and times:
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.
In addition to providing verbal comments at the hearings, comments may be submitted online, by email, mail, phone and fax.
Mail: CBD Tolling Program, 2 Broadway, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10004
Fax: Send to (212) 504-3148 with Attention to CBDTP Team.
Comments may also be provided to FHWA.
Mail: FHWA – NY Division, RE: CBDTP, Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building, 11A Clinton Ave, Suite 719, Albany, NY 12207
Comments received during this public comment period, which began August 10 and will close on September 9, will be considered and become part of the administrative record. Each public hearing will be livestreamed on the MTA YouTube channel at YouTube.com/MTAInfo and on the project website: mta.info/CBDTP. Anyone from any area can participate in any hearing. Speakers will be provided three minutes to speak, and anyone wishing to speak at the hearings will have an opportunity to do so. It is requested, but not required, that those wishing to speak sign up by 7:00 p.m. the previous day at mta.info/CBDTP or by calling the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777.
Requesting Language Services Can Be Done Online or By Phone
At the public hearings, CART Captioning and American Sign Language services will be available. Members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or the free 711 relay service, and then ask to be connected to the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777 to speak with an agent.
Members of the public who are blind or have low vision may submit an accommodation request online at mta.info/CBDTP or call the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777. Please send the request at least five business days prior to the scheduled hearing.
Members of the public who do not have access to a computer or who do not have access to the Internet may listen to the hearings by calling 1-888-788-0099 (toll-free) then entering Webinar ID 826 0673 8045, followed by the pound (#) sign, followed again by the pound (#) sign.
If language assistance or any other accommodation is required, please submit a request at least five business days before the scheduled hearing date in one of the following ways: online at mta.info/CBDTP, by calling the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777, or by sending a letter to MTA Government & Community Relations, Re: MTA CBDTP Public Hearings, 2 Broadway, B20.81, New York, NY 10004. For those who make a timely request for language assistance, the MTA will provide interpretation or translation.
Following the public review period, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will determine whether establishment of the program would result in significant effects in addition to the widespread benefits detailed in the assessment. The FHWA will issue one of two documents responding to the environmental assessment: either a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), establishing that any adverse effects are not significant or can be mitigated below significant level, or, if determined that there are significant effects that cannot be mitigated, a request for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) requiring further study of the proposed program.
If the FHWA approves the project, contractors would have up to 310 days to design, develop and implement the tolling infrastructure and tolling system technology that would process the tolls.