A response to congestion pricing


Volume 122, No. 9October, 2022

John Arbo

New York City is poised to charge a toll for drivers below 60th Street. The concept is called congestion pricing and the idea is to discourage people from driving in high-traffic areas to increase air quality and create a greener city. It would be the first congestion pricing experiment in the country. The problem is that congestion pricing unfairly penalizes those workers who must drive to their gigs, like many of our members.  Local 802 is asking the MTA for exceptions for musicians and submitted this testimony. 

Some of our members also submitted letters to the city. Below, we’d like to share what Local 802 member John Arbo submitted:

A RESPONSE TO CONGESTION PRICING by Local 802 member John Arbo

To the MTA: I agree as a general thing with the goals of the congestion pricing plan.  However, I’d like to point out that I am a professional musician (and a bassist, to boot) who works in midtown a lot. I live upstate and almost always have my gear in my car including a double bass (or bass fiddle, upright bass, acoustic bass, bass violin, etc. — it goes by many names — but it’s the big one). Public transport is NOT an option for me with my instrument and gear. Perhaps there could be some carve-out for those who can reasonably demonstrate their need for driving in midtown and below, akin to the different parking placards that one sees. Thank you….John Arbo