NYC Comptroller Proposes Plan To Help The MTA

Yesterday afternoon New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. held a press conference outside of Grand Central Terminal. During the press conference he proposed an idea to help the MTA raise money. The proposal calls for raising the automobile registration fees of drivers who reside in the 12 counties that the MTA serves. According to the comptroller, the plan could raise approximate $1 billion dollars per year. Colin Moynihan of the New York Times has more in this report that will appear in today’s print edition:

The New York City comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., said on Sunday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s gaping budget deficits could be diminished by increasing automobile registration fees in 12 counties served by the authority’s trains and buses.

At a press conference outside Grand Central Terminal, Mr. Thompson said that drivers now pay $30 every two years to register a vehicle in New York City, though they also pay additional state fees.

He proposed adding an annual fee of $100 for drivers in the city and nearby counties who register vehicles weighing up to 2,300 pounds, with vehicles above that weight also being assessed an additional 9 cents per pound.

The fees, which Mr. Thompson said would go directly to the authority, could total about $1 billion per year, with some $350 million from New York City residents. The authority faces a $1.2 billion deficit next year, and it unveiled a budget on Thursday that called for a 23 percent increase in tolls and fares along with cutbacks in service and layoffs. Mr. Thompson, a Democratic candidate for mayor, said he feared that the proposed fare increases would make mass transit unaffordable for some riders.

Click here for the complete report.

This is a very interesting proposal. I first heard about it when my sister mentioned it to me in a telephone conversation. When she was describing it, I thought to myself that it seems a little unfair as it passes the buck on to drivers again. The other part of me also wondered how much anger would come out from the pro driving community.

There is a never ending battle between drivers & mass transit users. I want to keep an open mind to the proposal & hope to hear more about it over the coming days. I’m sure we will get more reports about this considering that the idea will be submitted to the Ravitch Commission later today.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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