Jan 27, 2011

Manhattan, NY - Plan of Congestion Pricing is Quietly Back

Raise the toll on all entry/exit into and out of NYC to $20 and enact a law that if you keep a vehicle within Manhattan you must pay for a parking spot in a garage.   That will both drastically reduce the cars entering the city unnecessarily and keep the meters free for whomever has already paid the toll to enter.   Stop complaining- you will just write it off or get reimbursed from your boss anyway!
Manhattan, NY - Politicians are quietly resurrecting plans to charge drivers up to $10 to enter lower Manhattan on weekdays.
While there is no formal proposal, the money could restore some of last year’s MTA service cuts, halt the next fare increase and reduce the payroll tax outside the five boroughs.
Mayor Bloomberg proposed a similar system with an $8 charge in 2008, only to see it shot down in the Assembly.
It would have used E-ZPasses and license plate readers to bill drivers entering Manhattan below 60th St. from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
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.
Two groups usually at odds - the union-backed Working Families Party and the business-friendly Partnership for New York City - are also working together on the plan.

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