With midterm elections out of the way, a former New York City traffic commissioner is ramping up his call for a revamp of the New York City area's tolling system in order to increase infrastructure investment.
In Manhattan south of 86th Street, the plan would end the monthly parking tax rebate for Manhattan residents and impose a surcharge on taxi and for-hire vehicle trips. In neighborhoods with no subways, bus fares would be reduced by $1. Annually, the plan would yield $1.4 billion a year for transit and roads, especially state-of-good-repair projects, says Schwartz.
"We knew that, prior to Nov. 5, [Gov. Andrew Cuomo] would not want to tackle the issue," says Schwartz. Now, Schwartz and Move NY plan to release reports and meet with officials, including the governor, in the upcoming months.
Unlike former mayor Mike Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan, which failed, this plan addresses the tolling inequities of the region, notes Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
John Corlett, legislative committee chair for the New York chapter of the American Automobile Association, says the plan has AAA's "cautious" support. "It, conceptually, is a great plan and makes sense," he says. The AAA, which is suing the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey over planned toll increases and use of revenue to fund projects such as the World Trade Center redevelopment, wants assurances that revenue from the plan would go back into highway projects.