Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) wrote today to Governor Kathy Hochul and members of her administration to request an expansion to New York’s Clean Pass Program, which has been lauded for having reduced traffic congestion on the Long Island Expressway.
Initially launched as a pilot program in 2006, the Clean Pass Program encourages the use of hybrid and all-electric vehicles and provides a time-savings for peak-period commuters on the Long Island Expressway by allowing vehicles registered in the program to use the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane during the peak-period regardless of the number of passengers in their vehicle. The program is run jointly by the New York State Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Reilly is calling on Governor Hochul and the aforementioned agencies to expand the Clean Pass Program so that Staten Island commuters using the Staten Island Expressway and the Gowanus Expressway, both of which feature a near continuous HOV lane connecting New Jersey to Lower Manhattan, can benefit from it. He also pointed to data from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) which show an increase in the use of hybrid and electric vehicles by Staten Islanders, with 2.27 all-electric vehicles being registered per 1,000 residents and 1.5 plug-in hybrid vehicles registered per 1,000 residents.
“This portion of I-278 is notorious for experiencing some of the worst traffic congestion in the country and it will only get worse as construction begins to transform, albeit shortsightedly, the aging Brooklyn-Queens Expressway from six lanes to four,” said Reilly. “If we hope to tackle this congestion crisis, then we’re going to need to get creative and employ some out-of-the-box thinking. Expanding the Clean Pass Program to the Staten Island Expressway and Gowanus Expressway could quite possibly help alleviate some of the congestion along the corridor.”