Assemblymember Grace Lee and Senator John Liu Statement on Congestion Pricing Exemption for Commuter Vans

New York, NY – On November 30, 2023, the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB) recommended that commuter vans, mass transportation vehicles that serve many immigrant communities in New York City, should be exempted from the congestion pricing toll. This announcement comes after months of advocacy by Assemblymember Grace Lee and Senator John Liu to secure this exemption, including two letters sent to the TMRB and two press conferences held earlier this fall.

Assemblymember Grace Lee, Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American (APA) Task Force, stated, “The TMRB’s announcement this morning is a major win for the thousands of immigrant New Yorkers who rely on commuter vans to travel in and out of Manhattan every day. We have been calling for this exemption for months, repeatedly highlighting how these vans offer safe, language-accessible transportation services that are critically important for connecting the immigrant Asian American communities in New York. We thank the TMRB for hearing our concerns and understanding that congestion pricing cannot be built on the backs of vulnerable New Yorkers. We will be pushing for these recommendations to be accepted by the MTA and adopted into New York’s final congestion pricing plan.”

State Senator John Liu, Member of the Senate Transportation Committee stated, “Commuter vans play a vital role in the city’s transportation network by providing affordable, reliable, and language-accessible transportation in communities that are traditionally underserved by our mass transit system. These vans serve as an important connection between Chinatown and immigrant areas in Queens and Brooklyn and help reduce traffic by getting more cars off the roads. We’re happy the Traffic Mobility Review Board has agreed that exempting commuter vans is the right thing to do.”