Just to recap, the plan would charge drivers an $8.00 fee for driving below 60th Street from 6am – 6pm. There are provisions in the plan which allow for credits when paying a toll to enter the city. So if you paid $6.00 to cross a bridge on the way into the city, for example, you would only owe an additional $2.00 that day.
However, if you were parked below 60th Street or otherwise already in the city and drove below 60th Street, you would be charged the full $8.00.
So what the hell does this have to do with the subway?
Well, the city stands to receive $354 million in federal funding to help launch the congestion pricing plan. This money would pay for the fee collection infrastructure, as well as fund initial mass transit improvements.
The goal with the congestion pricing plan is to encourage people to leave their cars at home more often, and rely on mass transit. Of course, this means that the transit system would need to increase service, and increase reliability. So much of the federal funding would go towards these initiatives…at least so they say.
So now the plan heads to Albany for state approval. The State Legislature is in the middle of finishing the budget, however the plan deadline is quickly approaching.
Congestion pricing needs to be approved by April 7th in order to obtain the federal funding.
Way back in July, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno ironed out a deal with Spitzer to get the plan passed. Let’s hope that still stands.