Congestion Pricing Plan Just Won’t Go Away

Readers of Transit Blogger know how I feel about congestion pricing. If you are new to the site, here is a sentence to describe my feelings on the plan. Congestion pricing is nothing but a modernized version of “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.” So when I was browsing the New York Times site & saw congestion pricing continuing to be in the news, I was annoyed. However putting my feelings aside, I felt it was responsible to bring the report to my readers. Here is a brief sample of the two page report by Ray Rivera of the New York Times:

The financial crisis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is breathing new life into an idea the Legislature rejected just months ago: congestion pricing.

Facing a projected $900 million budget shortfall next year, the authority has proposed increasing transit fares twice in the coming three years, and has asked the city and state governments to provide hundreds of millions in additional aid.

But city and state officials, struggling with their own multibillion-dollar deficits, have urged the authority to cut its spending and find alternative sources of revenue. They have said they are counting on a commission led by Richard Ravitch, a former transportation authority chairman, to devise a plan to rescue the agency from its deepening financial hole.

Enter congestion pricing. Asked in a recent interview how seriously the commission was considering elements of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s traffic revenue plan to provide money that could bail out the authority, Mr. Ravitch replied, “Very.”

Click here to read the complete report.

Personally while I am not a big fan of Sheldon Silver, I do support his belief of how ridiculous the congestion pricing plan really was. A brief report on his feelings can be seen in an article by the New York Daily News’ Elizabeth Benjamin. Click here to read her article.

I sincerely hope the Ravitch Commission comes up with legitimate ways to help fund our transit infrastructure. While it is not solely the commission’s responsibility to come up with all the ways, it is important they come up with good ideas. Congestion pricing in any form is & never will be a good idea.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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