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NYCTRC Testimony – April 25, 2018 – The Cost of Congestion to NYCT

Statement by Ellyn Shannon, PCAC Associate Director
The Cost of Congestion to NYCT and the Riders
At the MTA Board Meeting
MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
April 25, 2018

Good morning Chairman Lhota and Commissioners. I am Ellyn Shannon, the Associate Director of the PCAC. First I want to give great Kudos to the bus turn around coalition for their hard fought efforts, and to Darryl Irick, President Byford and Jonathan their team for the visionary bus plan put forward on Monday.

In the interest of furthering the surface transportation discussion two items remain an obstacles to full success. The desperate need for bus lane camera enforcement and congestion pricing. We at the New York Transit Riders Council are disappointed there is no clear congestion pricing proposal for the Board to get behind. We have a proposal that will make valuable inroads in the discussion.

We hear some elected officials talk about the burden of congestion pricing on drivers. But, the burden of congestion on MTA riders, is still only vaguely defined by the MTA. That is why we are proposing the MTA conduct an Economic Analysis of the cost of congestion on the MTA and its riders. Clear numbers from MTA need to be put out there. Let me explain a few of those costs we are talking about.

Running a slow system costs more than running a fast system. This applies to both buses and subways. Here are the costs you incur.

If every weekday, your run time during the peak is 30-40% longer than the off peak due to congestion, then you need to address several items:
Because it means:
a. You need more buses for the route
b. You need more mechanics
c. You need more depot space
d. You need more bus operators
e. You need more fuel
f. You lose revenue, as bus rider’s switch to Ubers or move to the subway and add to the overcrowding.

Today we’d like your support in advancing an Economic Impact analysis on the cost of congestion to the MTA and its riders. Because by reducing congestion you can run more frequent service and provide greater reliability of that service to the riders for the same amount of money.

Thank you

Download here:042518 NYCTRC MTA Board Cost of Congestion