Congestion Pricing Takes Major Step Forward in New York City

Suddenly, after years of inaction, momentum is building for congestion pricing in New York City.

January 16, 2019, 2:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Bike Box

Johnn / Flickr

Eric Holthaus reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo supported the idea of congestion pricing during his "state of the state" address delivered earlier this week, as part of an "ambitious agenda" that would also ban platic bags and convert the state to carbon-emissions-free energy by 2040.

Holthaus, writing for Grist, obviously supports the idea of congestion pricing. Here's how the karticle lays out the case for the idea:

The idea of congestion pricing is simple: In a dense urban environment with great public transportation like lower Manhattan, operating a private passenger vehicle is actually harmful for society. Cars are dirtylouddangerous, and take up tons of space. If they get more expensive, fewer people will use them, carbon emissions will go down, and the streets will be safer — a win for everyone. 

In May 2018, Grist also published a video explaining congestion pricing:

As for details of the congestion pricing plan, "Cuomo has proposed a $11.52 fee to limit vehicle traffic below 60th Street, and expects the plan to provide a “reliable funding stream” for public transit in the city, especially in underserved areas, raising $15 billion in an unspecified amount of time."

A similar congestion pricing plan famously died in the New York legislature in 2008. The idea has picked up momentum again recently as the city deals with worsening congestion and worsening transit performance.

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