NEW YORK (PIX11) – The board that recommends toll prices, credits, discounts, and exemptions for New York City’s congestion pricing program will be meeting Thursday as mass transit workers warn of a possible strike.
The six-member Traffic Mobility Review Board will meet to discuss congestion pricing, which would allow the city to charge drivers below 60th Street anywhere from $9 to $23. City leaders have been pushing for commuters to use mass transit to alleviate congestion, but workers for NJ Transit and Metro-North could strike due to contract talks not moving forward.
The president of The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said in a statement, “The absence of a pay raise during a period of high inflation has persisted for four years, which is too long. Our members cannot continue working for subpar wages. They have had enough.”
NJ Transit leaders said they’re in negotiations with the union. They released a statement saying in part, “We look forward to getting a signed contract that delivers the same benefits to our locomotive engineers that every other rail union member currently enjoys.”
Metro-North workers and union officials will be holding events Thursday to alert the public of a potential strike.
MTA Communications Director Tim Minton accused the union of using scare tactics, adding that there is “no risk” of a strike for Metro-North.
“Riders should be frustrated by repeated misstatements and scare tactics from leaders of a single union that’s seeking a better deal than the 95% of all represented MTA workers whose unions have already signed contracts for increased pay and benefits,” Minton said. “The reality is there is no risk of a legal strike at Metro-North this year due to a legally required process, including mandated multi-stage federal mediation and/or arbitration, as well as multiple cooling off periods. Those are facts that responsible leaders should not be misrepresenting in an over-the-top effort to get better treatment than every other railroad union.”
Congestion pricing is expected to go into effect next spring.