MTA Brains Propose New Congestion Plan: Sell the Bridges

In a hearing yesterday, the Ravitch Commission considered ideas to shore up the MTA's finances. One of the ideas was a new form of congestion pricing -- or "congestion-pricing lite," as former city transportation commissioner Lou Riccio called it in the New York Post, considering of the failure of the Mayor's earlier attempt to get such a plan approved in the State Assembly.

Riccio would implement a quasi-congestion plan by selling for a nominal fee the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges to the MTA and allowing them to collect tolls. The revenues would help fill the MTA's budget gap and the tolls, presumably, would discourage car traffic.

Councilman Lewis Fidler of Brooklyn immediately criticized the idea, telling amNY that this would just drive motorists to the other, non-toll bridges.

The issue of fares was also raised, or rather lowered, or rather both: while Ted Kheel hoped the new bridge revenues would allow the MTA to actually remove fares entirely, James Parrot of the Fiscal Policy Institute proposed a fare increase, reports the Sun.

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The Commission will consider the suggestions and come up with recommendations at some future date.

Image via Pro-Zak (cc)


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