Rep. Josh Gottheimer ruffled feathers when he called for Congress to investigate the spending practices of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operating New York’s mass transit.
The congressman’s beef centers on plans to ease traffic congestion in Manhattan by charging drivers — such as the ones coming in from his northern New Jersey district — to enter.
New York’s “congestion pricing” program concerns cash flow as much as it does traffic flow, since it’s designed to cover some of the MTA’s outsized construction and maintenance costs. This “cash grab,” as Gottheimer put it, comes after the agency had “squandered” roughly $15 billion in cash aid sent by Congress to bolster the authority’s balance sheet — which was shaky even before the pandemic evaporated fare revenue.
There’s no indication that someone was sneaking trash bags of cash out the back of MTA headquarters. And summoning the agency’s brass — no strangers to hearing rooms — is unlikely to bring much new information to light.