Congestion Pricing: Friend of Foe of the Subway

Good or bad?  Let’s hope good!

Let’s backup.  What is congestion pricing?  Good question.  Congestion pricing is the theory of charging a fee to drive in congested areas of NYC during peak traffic times.

In this case,  rumour has it that Mayor Bloomberg is looking to have everywhere below 86th Street fall in the “fee” zone.  Right now, the proposal may be $8 to get down there.  How the fee would be collected is still up in the air.  Boy would toll booths suck!

Anyway, the idea is to 1) relieve traffic, and 2) improve the environmental quality of the city.  It is forecasted that by 2030, an additional million people will be in the city.

But, people still need to get places, right?  So that means people will be more likely to take public transportation.  That’s the goal anyway.  And everyone’s favorite public transportation method is the subway.

So is this a good thing or a bad thing?

On the bad side:

-More people means more crowds
-More wear and tear
-Slower commute

On the plus side:

-More subway revenue
-More an implied need for more service
-Perhaps delay a fare hike
-More focus on upgrading/maintaining the system

So yeah, it could suck that there would be a ton more people riding the subway.  But it could be a good thing because maybe that would draw more attention to repairing and fixing the subway.  Also, it might require more frequent service.

Ohh, and there’s the plus side of cleaner air and less horns on the road to honk.  So that’s good too, but the straphanger in me is a little scared!

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