Paying More for Less Service

By 2021, New York City will begin charging drivers who enter Manhattan below Central Park under the guise of congestion pricing. No one is surprised. City and state officials have been trying to make this happen for years. The rare alignment of views between the governor, the mayor, and the state legislature─each likely motivated by the prospect of monetizing driving─made it happen. But at what cost? In a study last year, a proposed flat rate of $11.50 for cars and $25.00 for trucks was suggested but the budget that passed on April Fool’s Day did not specify any fees. The decision of who will pay what will belong to the governor, the mayor, and a yet-to-be-named six-member panel. The budget goal is to raise $15 billion to fix the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway, train, bus, bridge, and tunnel system. This grand scheme has nothing to do with reducing traffic and everything to do with finding more cash to bail out mainly the city’s beleaguered subway system. Not only will all sorts of vehicle-related services such as taxis, rideshare and delivery surge in price, but the goods and services provided to New Yorkers will almost certainly go up too. “Not a nickel goes to roads in a state where 69 percent are considered in bad or mediocre condition,” said AAA Northeast spokesman Robert Sinclair to Bloomberg. Not only that, the wrangling for exemptions has already begun. Suburban motorists say they already pay various tolls to drive into the city so why should they pay another fee for the privilege of driving in the city. Commercial truckers also want an exemption as do taxi drivers, and the disabled. Exemptions to the congestion pricing have already been made for motorists on FDR Drive and the West Side Highway north-and-southbound express routes. New Jersey […]

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