Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in support of implementing congestion pricing.
I am Danielle Brecker. I live in the Dutch Kills neighborhood that bridges Long Island City and Astoria in Queens. The 7 N W R E M F G are all nearby but yet my neighbors and I are often delayed and late for work, school, doctor and other appointments, job interviews, social events, and more — costing us all money and time.
The delays are almost always a result of rain or other climate conditions and malfunctioning signals.
The signals that control our subway are based on 1930s technology and cause train delays on most days — everyone who takes the subway has been affected by signal delays countless times.
Our subway system needs to be much more resilient to climate change. Ida was a strong storm, I have never seen rain that heavy or fast, not even during Superstorm Sandy. But while Ida may have been one of the strongest storms it is far from the first storm to flood, overwhelm, and shutter our subway.
It must be the last.
We need congestion pricing and we need it now. It will raise at least $15 billion to fix and modernize our subway — this would help fund the MTA’s Fast Forward plan to make the subway reliable and accessible. Plan includes upgrades to modernize the signal system, make more than 50 stations accessible, and deliver critical improvements to our stations and subway cars.
Congestion pricing will have an overwhelmingly positive environmental impact by clearing the air of vehicle exhaust and investing in cleaner transportation.
Our subway has always been integral to our city, economy, happiness and well-being and now it is integral to our recovery, combatting the climate crisis, and our future. Congestion pricing is integral to keep our subway moving.