In New York City about 90 percent of goods and services arrive via truck. Nationwide that number is about 70 percent. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated an e-commerce boom shifting deliveries from commercial zones to residential areas. Despite the reliance on trucking, trucks do not vote making it easier for elected officials and unaccountable agencies to treat them as mobile ATM machines.
Let us look at the notoriously mismanaged and wasteful Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The MTA is staring down an estimated budget deficit of almost $500 million, with an $8 billion shortfall through 2024. For months they warned about the need for fare and toll hikes. Given the state of the economy, there was tremendous backlash to that. Now, due to the expectation of billions of dollars from the Biden Administration as well as the economic hardship many are facing, the MTA is delaying fare hikes, at least for the next few months.
What about tolls? Egregiously, the proposed 8 percent toll increase is not only still on the table but likely to be approved. The New York State Thruway already increased tolls to begin 2021 and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently increased tolls as well. It is refreshing to see members of the MTA board understand the financial hardship of customers, yet somehow that does not include motorists or small businesses. inexplicably there are those who still push for congestion pricing, despite the fact that we have no idea what Midtown will look like post-Covid (it certainly isn’t congested during the pandemic). Individuals, families and small businesses are suffering and there are no more nickel and dimes to shake out of them, yet the MTA, elected officials and “advocates” do not seem to care.