This week Move NY, the advocacy group led by former NYC traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz released their long awaited congestion pricing (not their words) plan. The plan calls for a $5.54 E-Z pass toll in each direction at the Ed Koch Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges. In Manhattan drivers crossing 60th Street would be charged the same toll. Also, fees to cross the Verrazano, Whitestone, Throgs Neck and Triboro bridges would be reduced to $3.04. It is important to note that as of now trucks would only be responsible for tolling once a day. Any truck that has to make multiple trips throughout the day would not be punished for doing so.
Move NY estimates that this will add $1.5 billion in revenue to improve roads and bridges. A number that is laughable because only a quarter or $375 million will be put aside for roads and bridges. The bulk of the cash or $1.125 billion will go to mass transit. In fact mass transit is so clearly the priority for Move NY that campaign director Alex Matthiessen is selling the plan as a way to help close the MTAs $15 billion 5 year shortfall. Yet MTA fare increases are not a part of this proposal.
Surely, getting cars off the roads is a priority for the city and something, which benefits the trucking industry as well. However it is important to ask if trucks and cars are the ones being tolled why is only a quarter of the profit going to the roads and bridges that feed into these tolls?