Legislation

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This entry was published on 2019-04-19
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SECTION 1701
Legislative findings and declaration
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 8, ARTICLE 44-C
§ 1701. Legislative findings and declaration. The ongoing failures of
the tracks, signals, switches, electrical power, and other
transportation infrastructure throughout the subway system in the city
of New York continue to have a significant deleterious impact on the
health, safety, and livelihood of commuters, tourists, resident New
Yorkers, as well as business and commerce in the metropolitan commuter
transportation district, which is the recognized economic engine of the
state of New York, and thereby have adversely affected the economy of
the state of New York. Temporary actions have been taken to address the
safety of subway, bus and commuter rail riders in the short term
including an emergency declaration and increased capital funding for the
subways in the most recently adopted state budget. The legislature,
however, determines that a long-term and sustainable solution is
necessary in order to ensure stable and reliable funding to repair and
revitalize this significantly important mass transit asset.

The legislature further finds and declares that traffic congestion in
the city of New York ranks second worst among cities in the United
States and third worst among cities in the world, and results in
significant cost to the New York metropolitan area economy and in turn
the state's economy at estimates exceeding one hundred billion dollars
over the next five years. Travel speeds in the city of New York's
central business district have dropped more than seventeen percent in
two thousand sixteen to an average of 6.8 miles per hour and in Midtown
Manhattan, the most congested area of the city-the area from fifty-ninth
street to thirty-fifth street and from ninth avenue to the east
river-the average vehicular speed is 4.7 miles per hour. Congestion in
these areas is crippling and impacts the everyday lives of residents,
commuters, taxi and for-hire vehicle traffic, bus transit and emergency
services, and is a significant contributor to decreased air quality.

These issues have been recognized by both the Fix NYC Advisory Panel
and the Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Workgroup as
significant impediments to everyday New Yorkers.

In order to ensure a safe and efficient mass transit system within the
city of New York and to protect the public health and safety of New
York's residents, a program to establish tolls for vehicles entering or
remaining in the most congested area of the state is found to be
necessary and to be a matter of substantial state concern.