Thursday, January 27, 2011
Congestion pricing is back
From Fox 5:
New York City officials are reportedly considering a plan to charge motorists up to $10 to enter lower Manhattan on weekdays.
The NY Daily News reported on Wednesday that "traffic pricing" as some insiders are calling it is similar to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2008 plan to charge $8 to drive at certain times in specific areas of New York City.
The plan which was rejected by the Assembly, charged drivers entering below 60th Street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. the fee.
There is no formal proposal in place for the new pricing plan, reported the paper.
Money raised could be used to help plug the MTA's maintenance gap.
From the Daily News:
Now, backers call it "traffic pricing" - and want to build support among outer borough and suburban lawmakers before proposing a specific plan.
"The MTA needs a sustainable funding source," explained state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn), who's rounding up colleagues. "This has to be on the table."
One idea would reduce the payroll tax on businesses outside Manhattan - which could win backing from suburban lawmakers.
"Everybody out in the suburbs hates the payroll tax, so the idea of 'feathering' the tax could be helpful," said one person involved.
"This has to be a regional effort. It has to enjoy regional support," the source added.
Driver fees could also reverse some of the MTA service cuts that eliminated two subway lines and 36 bus routes last year, and help plug the system's $10 billion long-term maintenance gap.
They could also delay the 7% fare hike scheduled for a year from now, backers hope.
While Gov. Cuomo has not taken sides on the idea, Bloomberg aides have been working on it behind the scenes for months.
"The key is devising a proposal that would win broad support across the five boroughs, the entire region, and in Albany," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson.