To carry out immediate repairs on NYC’s faltering subway system, $800 million in funds are needed. The state has contributed $400 million so far, and expects the city to provide the rest. While not committing to providing these funds, Mayor Bill de Blasio did propose a millionaires tax to help fund half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers.
Now Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to pump more funds into the subway, albeit with a type of proposal that previously failed: congestion pricing. Reporters were speculating about this on Twitter last week, and Cuomo subsequently confirmed to the New York Times that he was looking to develop a congestion pricing proposal, but declined to provide details.
A previous plan on congestion pricing introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg got derailed in the state legislature, particularly on concerns that it unfairly favored Manhattan residents. Cuomo told the Times that his plan is inspired by that proposal, but will move in a different direction. This quote from the Times basically sums it up:
“Congestion pricing is an idea whose time has come,” Mr. Cuomo said. He declined to provide specifics about how the plan would work and what it would charge, but said that he had been meeting with “interested parties” for months and that the plan would probably be substantially different from Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal.
The Times piece also revealed that Cuomo had introduced a pilot program a few months ago to reduce the amount of trucks in Manhattan during rush hour: trucks that worked overnight got reduced tolls.
Cuomo’s congestion pricing plan will likely be unveiled in January this year, but a group that has been pushing for congestion pricing for some time now, Move NY, has its own plan, which just might give us a sense of what Cuomo’s plan will look like. Move NY’s plan calls for $5.54 tolls each way on the four East River bridges into Manhattan, and the same toll for vehicles crossing north or south of 60th Street. Tolls on other bridges like the Henry Hudson and Throgs Neck would be reduced.