Thursday, 21 June, 2018

How congestion pricing could impact the entire state

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Drivers in Manhattan's busiest parts pay $11.52 per trip under a proposal from the Fix NYC panel
Nellie Chapman | 20 January, 2018, 08:05

Driving a vehicle into the busiest parts of Manhattan could cost $11.52 under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that would make NY the first city in the United States with a pay-to-drive plan.

Though he said on WNYC-AM Friday he'd like a guarantee the congestion pricing plan would fund MTA fixes, Mayor Bill de Blasio added that it "shows improvement over previous plans we have seen over the years".

The proposals are part of a report by a task force, "Fix NYC", convened by Governor Cuomo after he declared a state of emergency in the subways last June.

The reasons for gridlock are many, and the report notes, in particular, the increase in for-hire vehicles, increase in trucks delivering e-commerce, more of streets dedicated to pedestrian plazas, bicyclists and dedicated bus lanes, booming tourist industry with associated buses and slack enforcement of moving violations as the main culprits. Prior to congestion pricing going into effect, the state also suggests a series of steps, including identifying public transit improvements for the outer boroughs, better enforcing traffic laws within the CBD, and TLC regulation reform. The fees would apply to vehicles driving below 60th St.in Manhattan, and would not apply to those who take FDR Drive.

The congestion pricing money would fund the much-needed fixes for the city's transit system, which Cuomo oversees. Taxicabs and Uber rides would be charged between $2 and $5 per ride.

"I could support the surcharge for limos, rideshare and tour buses, but not on all New York City drivers, particularly Staten Islanders who are already subject to unfair tolls", said Assemblywoman Malliotakis in response to the proposal.

"It does not achieve in my view some of the things we need the most - a guaranteed form of funding for the MTA", he said. "The only folks who don't pay at all are drivers - and those cars are clogging our streets, polluting our air and harming the economy". You can't drive, you can't make the delivery.

"As the most powerful political leader in NY, when the governor decides to make something a policy priority, he usually prevails. Any serious plan to fix the subway will require billions of dollars to implement, and this congestion pricing plan would make that possible", said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance in a statement.

Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, however, is concerned about the proposed FHV fees. "What we still don't see is money ... being put in a lock box that would only fund transit in New York City". "While important details are not yet defined, any plan that shifts further financial burden on to these 100,000 workers and their families would be devastating".