Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed to open up to compromise with his rival Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday after the latter unveiled aspects of a plan to make drivers pay to enter the Manhattan business district.
For years de Blasio has dismissed prior congestion pricing proposals as a "regressive tax" on the outer boroughs and on low-income auto owners. "We may need elements of both of these ideas to get to that ultimate solution".
Cars that travel south of 60th Street in Manhattan would be subject to a $11.52 charge, while trucks would pay $25.34. Drivers who already paid a tunnel toll of that amount would not pay again.
And taxis and other for-hire vehicles could be adding surcharges of two to five dollars per ride.
The report says fees on taxis and for-hire vehicles could begin next year, with trucks, and then cars, following in 2020.
Cuomo, a second-term Democrat, created the panel in October and asked it to devise congestion-reducing proposals for this year's legislative session. Revenue would go to transit improvement, including continued repairs of the decaying subway system. The governor has taken to championing congestion pricing as a way to provide financing for the city's beleaguered transit system, while the mayor believes money for public transit can be raised by imposing a new tax on the wealthy.
Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) stated: "I am not in favor of congestion pricing, particularly since this plan does not address the fairness of toll equity on bridges throughout the rest of the boroughs".
"It does not achieve, in my view, some of the things we need the most, which is a guaranteed, reliable form of funding for the MTA".
Either proposal would require the approval of the state Legislature, including the Republican-controlled Senate.
But Senate GOP leaders have been entirely dismissive of a tax hike, while merely cool to the idea of new tolls.
Driving a auto into the busiest parts of Manhattan could cost $11.52 under a proposal prepared for New York's governor.
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