Well that is what state commission panel Chairman Marc Shaw said yesterday. The panel was created to study ways to decrease traffic congestion in Manhattan. The main objective on their table is evaluating Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. Mr. Shaw feels that the MTA’s proposed fare hike should not be a factor when evaluation Mayor Bloomberg & said as much yesterday:
I would ask that we don’t let the word ‘fare’ fall into this debate; I think this commission has a hard enough job as it is
Here is a brief article about the situation courtesy of AMNY:
A state commission studying ways to reduce Manhattan traffic should not consider the impact of proposed transit fare and toll hikes in evaluating Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, the panel’s chairman told members Tuesday.
“I would ask that we don’t let the word ‘fare’ fall into this debate,” said Chairman Marc Shaw, a former deputy mayor in the Bloomberg administration and former executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“I think this commission has a hard enough job as it is.”
The 17-member commission, meeting for the first time, is charged with studying the mayor’s plan, along with other traffic reduction proposals, and making a recommendation to the City Council and the state Legislature by Jan. 31, 2008.
The mayor wants to charge motorists $8 to drive into Manhattan below 86th street between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. as a means to reduce traffic and improve air quality.
The controversial plan failed to win state lawmakers’ approval in the spring. The Legislature instead created a commission to study the proposal. A federal transportation grant of $354 million hinges on the city and state by next March approving either congestion pricing or an alternative that reduces traffic by at least the 6.3 percent targeted in the mayor’s plan.
At the same time, the MTA is considering its first fare and toll hike since 2005, prompting some on the commission to wonder whether the increases would affect the estimated revenue from congestion pricing.
“A decision is going to be made about raising fares in February and the Legislature is going to consider all this [congestion pricing] in March — I think we have to talk about how we deal with those two political realities,” said panel member Gene Russianoff, a staff attorney for the Straphangers campaign.
“The fare hike and what we’re doing, they’re just directly related.”
For those who are interested in my opinion of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion plan, click here!