NYT: Big Apple Congestion Charge NOW

nyt big apple congestion charge now

Despite serious and ongoing questions about the wisdom of London's Congestion Charge, and popular opposition to importing the scheme to the Big Apple, The New York Times will not let the damn thing go. Not with the deadline for $350m in federal funds (i.e. your tax money) about to expire. At least this time the Op Ed folk aren't claiming that the congestion charge is anything more than a cash grab. Well, at least not initially… "Mass Transit Needs Congestion Pricing" begins by revealing that The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it will need– yes need– $29.5b over the next five years for "improvements." The paper then argues that "New York [mass transit] riders pay a considerably higher share of the cost of mass transit than riders in other cities. Fares for buses, subways and commuter rails increased again this week to help pay the M.T.A.’s operating costs. It is time for New York drivers to help carry the burden. Congestion pricing fees can produce significant and recurring new money for mass transit’s capital expenses." Oh and "Congestion pricing, of course, has many other virtues. New Yorkers would enjoy the health and economic benefits of less gridlock and tailpipe emissions — and faster commutes." Riiiiiight. Just like they do in London.

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  • Brownie Brownie on Mar 05, 2008

    I'm joking, of course. I just don't buy your argument. Is the suggestion that people who drive into Manhattan from Long Island and Westchester because they don't want to lower themselves to ride the LIRR or Metro North will instead drive 90% of the way to Manhattan, get off the highway, park their car in some neighborhood they don't know in The Bronx or Queens, and then take the subway for a trip just as long as the train ride they were trying to avoid in the first place?

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Mar 05, 2008

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/12/nyregion/12traffic.html?pagewanted=print I don't buy the argument that all of this commuter traffic is from people living out in Long Island and Westchester. Not when you have nearly twice as many drivers coming in from Queens than you have coming in from Nassau County. Interesting to note that the highest concentrations of commuter traffic originate in places where there is no subway service.

  • Brownie Brownie on Mar 05, 2008

    Ah, but New York City has about 550,000 government employees. According to that article, roughly 192,000 of them drive to work every day (citing their free parking as a reason). The article says that ~140,000 people drive in from the boroughs - how many of them do you think are city workers? I would guess the majority. I don't think we're supposed to craft policy to favor such a small special interest group. Besides, one of the benefits of reduced congestion will be the ability to improve and expand express bus service from the boroughs - this will address the problem with subway access. As an aside, this means that over 70% of the total number of Manhattan workers driving in every day are city workers. Now you know where the "popular opposition" is coming from. Maybe congestion wouldn't be an issue at all if they didn't have their abominable "park anywhere, anytime" passes.

  • on Mar 05, 2008
    The paper then argues that "New York [mass transit] riders pay a considerably higher share of the cost of mass transit than riders in other cities. Fares for buses, subways and commuter rails increased again this week to help pay the M.T.A.’s operating costs. It is time for New York drivers to help carry the burden. Congestion pricing fees can produce significant and recurring new money for mass transit’s capital expenses." Yes, it would be wrong for the people who actually use it to pay for it. If mass transit is the only wise means of getting around, how come it isn't self-supporting? Oh yeah, we're all mind numbed robots who don't know what's good for us. Good thing people like the editors of the NY Times are around to tell us what we want/need.

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