Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Guesstimating budgets for transit plans

Over the next nine months the Bloomberg administration will likely press the state for an additional $450 million in funding for the no. 7 subway line extension, as cost overruns have left the 1.5-mile project with only one planned station stop.

Added Funds Sought for No. 7 Expansion

The extension has been billed as an essential driver of development for the area west of Midtown, which is one of the Bloomberg administration's key initiatives.

And in other "wow, this transit idea may cost more than we thought" news: Mayor says congestion plan will raise $390M for mass transit

The expected profit could be swallowed by operating costs if any of the city's assumptions go awry - like how much it costs to identify each car and truck, and how many times a day sensors will spot each vehicle, internal city documents show.

And although the city counts on billing 70% of drivers through their E-ZPass tags, the remaining 30% will be tracked by their license plates - a process that costs much more and fails more often, industry experts say.

While the mayor's plan assumes it will cost $232 million a year to operate the system, just two little tweaks in the model - four sensors per trip, and 75cents to read a license plate - would raise the cost to $685 million per year, leaving nothing for mass transit. City profit would also be squeezed if the MTA or Port Authority raises tolls on bridges and tunnels, because those tolls are credited against the congestion pricing fee.


georgetheatheist said...

"...the remaining 30% will be tracked by their license plates..."

Approximately 8-9 months ago, in my van travelling east on Queens Boulevard, around 75th Rd, I "ran" the changing light [mea culpa]...Zip!-Zap! the overhead camera took my picture...I have yet to receive any summons or notice for this transgression...Wha' happened?

Also Assemblyman Lafayette got passed a bill that made it illegal to paint reflective coatings on your plates to "confound" the traffic cameras. Are people obeying this? Are coated plates recognizable on parked cars? Does this activity indeed foil the cameras? Will such activity increase if Congestion Pricing goes into effect?

Unknown said...

Bloomberg loves to explain what the congestion pricing plan pays for, but he just doesnt get it.
So he is going to tax the people of Queens who apparently are the vast majority of commuters who drive into Manhattan to pay for a subway extension on the West Side of Manhattan.
How would one extra subway stop all the way on the West Side of Manhattan help people from Queens get to work in the morning?
I thouh the congestion pricing plan was to help pay for better transportation in order to alleviate traffic coming to and from Manhattan.
and he wonders why people are fighting him.

verdi said...

Let the Javits Center be billed
for construction costs of extending the # 7 line.
That's what it's for. Why should we pay for it ?