Main | Thursday, July 26, 2007

Transit Gets HOT

The transit situation in New York City is getting, uh, interesting.

- The Port Authority is polling commuters entering the Lincoln Tunnel, asking if they'd be willing to pay up to $30 per entry in order to use a proposed super-fee lane, which could cut their drive into Manhattan by 20-50 minutes. The HOT, or high-occupancy/toll lane would be creating by reconfiguring the inbound lanes. The present fee is $6.

- Taxi drivers are threatening to strike in September if they are forced to accept in-cab GPS tracking systems, complaining about the cost (several thousand dollars pro-rated over three years) and the likelihood of the system creating even more back-seat drivers. (Guilty! "Go through the park!")

- The MTA is preparing another fare hike, likely around 6.5%, with a vote expected in December. The last fare hike took place in 2003, when a single ride rose from $1.50 to $2.00.
Annual rises tied to the inflation rate are planned for 2010 and onward.

- A commission to study Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan is forming in the state legislature today, with a vote scheduled for March. The new plan would charge drivers $8 to enter lower Manhattan. Even though the plan has not yet been approved, the MTA is already counting on the revenue and has budgeted an extra $600M in "new governmental aid" into the 2010/2011 budget.

Thirty bucks for the tunnel, then another eight bucks to go downtown. I bet people don't even blink.

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