Main | Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW YORK CITY: Lawmakers Refloat Plan To Charge For Driving Downtown

Lawmakers are refloating a plan to charge drivers up to $10 if they want to drive south of 60th Street in Manhattan on weekdays. Bloomberg test-drove the idea back in 2008 to little support, but with the city budget in the shape it presently is, this time the idea may get some traction.
Driver fees could also reverse some of the MTA service cuts that eliminated two subway lines and 36 bus routes last year, and help plug the system's $10 billion long-term maintenance gap. They could also delay the 7% fare hike scheduled for a year from now, backers hope. While Gov. Cuomo has not taken sides on the idea, Bloomberg aides have been working on it behind the scenes for months. "The key is devising a proposal that would win broad support across the five boroughs, the entire region, and in Albany," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson.
Last time, the plan was largely shot down by outer-borough commuters who drive downtown and use the already sky-high parking garages.

RELATED: In 2003 London instituted a similar congestion charge in which weekday drivers pay £10 to enter the central part of the city.

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