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New Congestion Pricing Proposal Gets City Council Backing

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Congestion pricing is one of those things that, like the completed Second Avenue Subway, seems like it's just never gonna happen. But there's a new plan to add tolls to the four southern East River bridges and Manhattan itself at 60th Street, and it has backing from the City Council's Progressive Caucus. The group endorsed the Move NY plan created by Sam Schwartz (a.k.a. "Gridlock Sam"), the New York Daily News reports. Schwartz's proposal would add tolls to the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge, and do the same on all crossings along 60th Street, including the West Side Highway and FDR Drive.

According to the plan, the new tolls would not only function as a way to raise money for the MTA (the city pledged more than $2 billion to the transit authority's recent capital plan), but would also help reduce existing tolls on crossings such as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. This new proposal is estimated to produce $1.5 billion a year.

While the vote was anonymous, several of the caucus's members did publicly endorse the poject, including Stephen Levin, Corey Johnson, and Carlos Menchaca. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hasn't backed the Move NY plan, but supports the general idea. "…in terms of the concept of it and what it is presenting, I've met with the representatives of Move New York, and it's something definitely that I'm in line with," she told the Daily News.
· City Council members tout East River bridge tolls as a way of funding MTA [NYDN]
· MoveNY [Official]
· There's Finally a Funding Plan for the Cash-Strapped MTA [Curbed]