Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Congestion Pricing

Today, The New York Post ran an editorial on congestion pricing and the proposed fare hike in New York. (As soon as I figure out the linking function on this computer, I will link it in!)

B- responded:

Your editorial takes two separate issues and claims that they are both the same.

Congestion pricing is part of the Mayor's 2030 Plan to make for a more livable city. The residents here in Queens believe that congestion pricing is designed to make Manhattan more livable at the expense of the other boroughs. This is true both as a financial matter and a quality of life matter. We are right to fear that congestion pricing in Manhattan will simply mean more cars and more pollution in Queens, especially around areas with express subway stops.

New bridge tolls are perceived as another way to achieve the same result. It penalizes residents for living in the "wrong" borough, and since there is no place to put toll plazas in Queens, it will mean traffic tie-ups, and traffic pollution, through the main arteries of Queens.

These issues of fairness among the boroughs in terms of who pays and who gets what they pay for are relatively new issues. Since you don't live in the outer boroughs, you may not have recognized them.

The fare hike is just the same-old same-old. How does the MTA manage to collect $2 dollars a day, 2 times a day, from millions and millions of people, and still have no money to do what it is supposed to do? Now, the mayor proposes to give them more money and more responsibility?

To the extent that the MTA unjustly suffers from bad PR, supporters like the New York Post need to get the word out. To the extent that the MTA needs to change their ways before they get more money from us, the MTA should get to work and properly use, and account for, the money it has.

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