NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York drivers were holding their breath Tuesday, wondering how much they’ll be asked to cough up under a new congestion pricing plan expected to be endorsed by the governor on Wednesday.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, cars coming into Manhattan may soon be paying a co-called congestion charge to enter Manhattan below 60th Street.
While drivers don’t know the details, they know they don’t like it.
“You already pay so much for bridges and tunnels,”one said.
“I’m a middle class guy, it’s coming out of my pocket,” another added.
With streets clogged, traffic crawling at an average of just 4.7 mph, and a desperate need for cash to fix the subways, Governor Cuomo is expected to formally endorse a congestion pricing plan during his annual state of the state address on Wednesday.
Details would be worked out in the days and months ahead.
“I’m going to echo the mayor here, it’s no secret he’s expressed some concern about congestion pricing, but has also said he looks forward to whatever the governor or the commission puts out,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
The governor appointed a Fix NYC commission to make recommendations.
Sources say the report is not finished, but the outlines of its revenue raising schemes include charging drivers a fee to enter Manhattan’s central business district below 60th Street, and a hefty surcharge on app based services like Uber and Lyft.
The services have mushroomed to nearly 70,000 vehicles dwarfing the 13,600 licensed yellow cabs.
CBS2’s Kramer asked the Transportation Commissioner if a cap on the Ubers of the world would help city congestion. She pointed out that Mayor de Blasio unsuccessfully tried to get the city council to cap them a few years ago.
“We need to take a fresh look at the challenges, look and see what ideas are put on the table,” Trottenberg said.
A de Blasio spokesman said the administration has an eye on the problem.
“Monitoring growth closely, but not proposing a cap at this stage,” Eric Phillips said.
“We have an interest in sustainable revenues for the MTA, reducing congestion here in the Central Business District, so we’ll see what comes out tomorrow,” Trottenberg said.
Sources said there were many details to be worked out, like hours, fees, and a start date.
2018 is an election year for the governor and the legislature, and people tend to vote their pocketbooks.