Save the MTA, destroy the city? That seems to be the thinking behind the outrageous congestion pricing plan released this week, with utterly mind-boggling proposed tolls.
The scheme offers a range of options, but the hit — which could come as early as next year — calls for beating cars with as much as $23 for the “privilege” of driving south of 60th Street in Manhattan.
In some scenarios, vehicles can deduct some or all of the bridge and tunnel tolls from the congestion charges. But the total amount of $23 equates to $115 weekly for five trips. Or $5,750 for 50 weeks a year. The truck costs are even higher.
Have they gone mad?
This fights area rulers, especially those who live in the suburbs or out of town. Goodbye, return to your office movement. Riders are already avoiding public transport, thanks to crime; now they should also avoid driving to save money?
Even Governor Kathy Hochul agreed during the first government debate this year that this is not the time to each new driver compensation: “This is not going to happen under any circumstances in the next year,” she swore, though later largely flip-flopped under pressure.
The hypothesized goal is to unclog congestion on roads where average speeds have fallen from 9.1 mph to 7.1 mph over the past decade. But remember what also happened in that decade: First, the city started removing lanes in favor of bike and bus lanes and pedestrian plazas. Then the Blasio’s administration lowered the speed limits. What did they think would happen to the average traffic speed?
Now they say this new (highly regressive) tax is the cure? Sounds like the boy who killed his parents and then begged for mercy as an orphan.
Yes, the MTA needs money. But why should? drivers cover all the agency’s shortcomings? After all, it is not the case that transit workers are asked to make concessions.
Sorry: This plan looks like a secret plot to send more New York commuters to Florida.