Council Member David Yassky was one of congestion pricing's earliest and most vocal proponents, and he hasn't yet given up on the prospect of charging tolls to drive in Manhattan.
The article features an in depth interview with New York City Council Member David Yassky:
"The truth is that the votes weren't there among the assemblymembers. It wasn't that the Speaker was blocking it-the votes just weren't there among the state legislators. What will change that? Number one, if the state legislators only focused on this issue for the last month or so before the vote-a lot of people didn't think it would pass through the City Council, so they didn't focus."
"Our biggest single failure here in city and state government for the last decade, if not more, has been the failure to deal with infrastructure. We've had ten, if not more, major projects that had wide support but that simply haven't gotten done. The problem is that we need a governor-because that is what it will take-to say, 'Yes, there are 10-14 important projects that I support. But here are the two or three that we are absolutely going to do.'"
"This debate is about traffic, but far more New Yorkers take the subways and buses each day than drive. We're operating with a subway infrastructure and a subway system that was laid out 100 years ago, where buses-in part due to traffic and in part due to the fact that we don't have as many as we should-are too infrequent and too slow. The $400-500 million a year that congestion pricing could generate-depending on what the fees are set at and how much the operational costs are-would pay for very significant expansions in our mass transit system."