Cuomo Warns of a 30 Percent Fare Hike if Congestion Pricing Fails

The governor made his case for congestion pricing, although he acknowledged it would be a “politically difficult battle.”


Comments: 161

  1. It doesn’t matter where the money comes from because the MTA is not to be trusted. The poor, the low income folks, the middle income folks will be very upset and completely unable to afford a 30 percent fare increase. Come on MTA. Figure out another way to regain our trust.

  2. And not a single word about reforming the MTA? Platform workers earning north of $200k per year plus benefits and an incredibly generous pension — not a problem? Thirty percent of MTA staff members working behind a desk somewhere doing God knows what with no accountability — not a problem? Bridge tolls, subway fares, taxes on taxi fares, money gushing in from everywhere, but never, ever enough, so let’s tax more — no problem? Building the Second Ave. subway at the highest cost per mile in the entire world by almost double — no problem? Day of reckoning looming? — no problem, we’ll just raise fares and taxes.

  3. We've had similar issues in Canada, and I'm aware the MTA has fiscal responsibility issues which somewhat muddy the issue but... It's unrealistic to think our urban centers will be able to support automobile traffic for any significant portion of the population, this issue isn't a problem that should be foisted off on the MTA since it (partially) isn't their fault. NYC is big, big cities need transit, big cities need to absorb the cost of paying for that transit as a city, maybe the state is willing to contribute or maybe the metro area needs to introduce a property tax to slow the density growth while providing additional funding for infrastructure. I think we're not very far off from cities with pedestrianized urban centers, a lot of cities have pedestrianized areas that are thriving, cars are just unsustainable.

  4. @Alex An interesting thing about property taxes in NYC is that they are very low in the outer boroughs -- Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx -- compared to Manhattan and the suburbs. My jaw drops sometimes when I see real estate ads for big houses in Brooklyn with property taxes of $3,000 - $4,000 a year. That is a tiny fraction of what they would be in the suburbs, and likely also less than the re taxes on a 1 BR apt. in Manhattan. The people in the outer boroughs are also among those who scream first and loudest whenever the issue comes up of imposing tolls on currently free East River tunnels and bridges or introducing congestion pricing for driving in central Manhattan.

  5. @Alex my taxes are about $16K a year. Congestion pricing is criminal. People will clog up other roads into the city and create more employees with low morale and stress. The jobs are here, but many don’t care how we commute because there are few companies in other parts of the country to support workers. Corporations like their big city zip codes.

  6. A congestion tax is the right solution, but not on taxis. The congestion was caused by the ride-hail companies, Uber and Lyft, not taxis. The tax should be applied to Uber and Lyft trips.

  7. Maybe Cuomo should address why, in NYC, each mile of new subway costs far above the cost anywhere else in the world, including ALL of the most expensive foreign capitols. The fact is, the NY labor unions have rules that remind us all of the Soprano TV show. Cuomo cannot fight the unions because they are part of his political base. But this CORRUPTION is part of why the NYC subways are falling apart. The labor costs are even more highway robbery than congestion pricing. NYC, control your unions or lose your transportation. I did not say abolish your unions, just make them follow the realities of public finance in the 21st century. They do not deserve to bilk the taxpayers who support them, but who have normal jobs without the corrupt perks.

  8. @Will Hogan Absolutely. A Times article a few months ago revealed that NYC tunnel construction workers earn just under $600/hour. That's why building a mile of subway in New York costs twice a much as it does in London.

  9. @Rick Cowan As I recall a couple hundred @600/hr didn't even exist.

  10. @Will Hogan. Congestion pricing is not robbery; rather, it is a market based solution which needs to be enacted regardless of union employee costs––which, by the way, are not only a combination of cronyism, politics, and thievery as you suggest-–but a result of such mundane issues as the cost of health insurance. Other comparable economies have national health insurance; we, obviously, do not.

  11. Volume pricing unfairly punishes lower income commuters. It needs to be levied on Uber and Lyft and have a low-income waiver available for the rest. This can be readily administered through programmable toll transponders carried in the vehicle. Low-income people also deserve a break on transit fares. The cost of living vs minimum wage is already crushing the working class that built New York and gave the boroughs their character. It is not difficult to make this revenue gathering sensitive to the widening income gap.

  12. @Bohemian Sarah Hi Sarah, Here in NYC (you live in Eastern Europe), Uber and Lyft are the only affordable and feasible options for many. The perception that Uber and Lyft are causing congestion is a red-herring. Trucks double parking delivering non-essentials during rush hour cause nearly all of the congestion issues. For disabled and middle and low income NYers, especially those in the outer borough they are the only option available when a busses inch along at 5mph and subways are closed for repairs.

  13. @Eless Outer borough for-hire rides are not facing an increase in cost from congestion pricing. The latest increase was a decision made by the companies in order to enact the minimum wage requirement.

  14. @Bohemian Sarah Lower income commuters are not zipping around in for-hire vehicles. The average for-hire vehicle user is male, white, wealthy and middle-aged. The same goes for drivers entering the Manhattan CBD.

  15. More "threats" from Cuomo? And trying to hold the strap-hangers of NYC hostage to HIS demands? Cuomo has essentially the same sort of despotic attitude that Trump has when it comes to governing, and the same sort of contempt for democratic processes and blatant disrespect for the ideas of others! And almost the same level of "ethical blinders" too. Where's the Moreland Commission, governor? And how about Percocco and others in your orbit charged with crimes while doing your bidding? Please write an essay of 500 words for the voters!

  16. "Cuomo Warns of a 30 Percent Fare Hike if Congestion Pricing Fails "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made his case for congestion pricing, although he acknowledged it would be a 'politically difficult battle.'" It is truly astonishing that this teaser contains not the tiniest hint of pricing, of fares, of WHAT?

  17. How about people who use public transportation start paying for the actual cost of that transportation.

  18. @Bill -- oh I see. But those that drive into that relatively small area below 60th St and pay a ton for parking but nothing for using the streets are paying their fair share? No, they are not. Only cabs and delivery trucks should be allowed in Midtown/Lower Manhattan during the weekday (and the super rich, who have no issue with this, obviously).

  19. Uh Bob we already pay to use the streets it’s called taxes. Should we have a walking tax to be on the sidewalk or how about a bike lane tax

  20. No one, including drivers, pays the actual costs of transportation.

  21. How about instead of always placing constant hikes or finding new ways to give an agency that will just misuse it anyway, try going for a more thorough audit instead? Until we see where the MTA is really spending their existing revenue sources, no other ones such as congestion pricing should even be thought of. Doesn't anyone find it very strange how the MTA makes so much in fares and tolls yet the their very system isn't even in good shape? Also, if they are so concerned about those paying the fares, they should be finding a better way to stop the fare beaters for believing that they should have a free ride on the subways and buses, because every time they don't pay this forces everyone else who does to pay even more. Unfortunately, there are anti-car fanatics who won't agree to either of those as it would possibly make congestion pricing feel both obsolete and unnecessary. As for congestion pricing, this is has been a lost cause for the 40 years and the relentless push for it need to end. Even with a blue wave in Albany, there is still a lot of skepticism as many of those new elected Democrats still see it as a regressive tax to the lower classes that won't be able to afford as well as punishment to those who have little to no options for driving. It's about time that this idea would be placed in the coffin already. Overall, fix the system by fixing the very agency itself first before others must share their burdens.

  22. A 30 percent fare hike? Clearly the Governor doesn't ride the subway. This is insane. The disconnect between those who govern and the governed is widening. You just know that that money isn't going to improve the tubes. It's most likely going in some banker's wallet or bondholders investment portfolio while the trains continue to run on their own time when they run at all. New York is supposed to be the greatest city in the world or so its residents are told, but you wouldn't know it if you ride the subway. The stress caused by delays and unreliability is unbelievable! Why in the world can't the corporations who are receiving billions of dollars in tax breaks pony up the money? Why must it always come out of the hide of the working class?

  23. @PeterW This is a political tactic to put pressure on the hold out legislators. Congestion pricing is inevitable and should have been implimented many years ago.

  24. Congestion pricing is not a bad idea. The misguided part of all this is to think lower Manhattan is where the worst congestion occurs. Many parts of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are far more congested at rush hour. We could do better if the Governor’s circle of advisors included a few commuters.

  25. @John Wachter The cordon was selected due to the mass transportation options from across the region. Future congestion zones will likely arise in the future (e.g. Downtown BK).

  26. Well why not? The taxi surcharge that took effect last weekend amounts to a 30-40% increase in fares for seniors and other people who have to take a taxi on short rides, like a mile or so to go to the doctor. In the meantime, yeah, let's let all those people in the outer boros and burbs continue driving their hulking SUVs over the bridges for free and continue to run down pedestrians in crosswalks. The best think Cuomo could do now, in my opinion, is provide cash grants for people, especially seniors, who live in Manhattan, can't take it any more and want to resettle in other states.

  27. @ellienyc Just because we aren't paying on the spot doesn't mean that it's for free. The roads and crossings that don't have tolls are actually paid for via taxes for transit and infrastructure. In a way, we are paying for them. BTW, I have to pay fees for inspection every year, registration every other year, and even license renewal every 8 years. If I don't, I get fined for failure to do so, none of those happen to be cheap. Even when I have to do a routine oil change for service at the dealers, it's pretty pricey. As for the taxi surcharge, I think it's wrong as they are already subject a lot yet Uber and Lyft are exempt from this and are hardly subject to any regulations that the TLC must follow, which I feel should have the surcharge as well rather than try to avoid it.

  28. What exactly is MTA's definition of Congestion Pricing (CP)? When CP has been implemented throughout the world, the main goal has always been to reduce traffic not raise money for capital improvements. If this is just a way to raise money for capital expenditures, than call it what it is, a tax or a cordon toll. The effect of a toll like this might not even lead to less traffic. If the tax/toll is not high enough, traffic patterns will not materially change. If too high, traffic volumes will go down but you may not collect the money you anticipated. This type of project is very complicated and should be looked at from a regional perspective with all agencies and adjacent states involved as commerce will be affected as well social equity. If MTA truly needs the money perhaps raising the fares of all modes of travel ( railroad, subway, bridge, bus) makes more sense. With subsidies of course for those in need.

  29. Virtually every year the MTA raises subway and bus fares. What in god's name are they doing with all of the increased revenue? Maybe it's time for an independent auditor to look into what the MTA is doing with all of the money.

  30. @susan They are operating a subway system which entails paying workers, cleaning equipment and stations, and repairing all manner of antiquated things. That costs money, and those costs, like everything else, are affected by inflation -- prices go up continuously. So it would be a miracle if fares didn't also go up periodically. That is, unless there is a new revenue stream -- one that increases enough each year to cover inflation in the whole enterprise's expenses. Hence congestion pricing. This is not rocket science. We have a grossly underfunded system which is too reliant on fare revenue. Not enacting congestion pricing or something like it means higher fares, further deterioration in service, or some combination of both. Trains don't run on hope and prayers.

  31. That's poppycock. Years ago they shut down a lot of the subway booths where one could buy tokens (remember them?) from a live person. They cut back the employees working in these areas. The MTA claimed they would save money. And as far as cleaning the cars and stations - they're dirty and filthy. There's no cleaning. They're just moving the dirt around. There were huge cost overruns when they built the 2nd Ave. subway. I live in the area where it was being constructed. All I ever saw was a few workers standing around smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. The MTA needs auditing.

  32. Here's a thought. Every New Yorker who pays city taxes gets to pay an extra amount in taxes that gives him/her a "prime' membership to ride the subways (much like the Metro North monthly ticket) for a whole year. Unlimited rides. Whether they ride the subways or not. It's the gym membership model. Payer/non users subsidize user but always have the option of being users.

  33. How about a special property tax on NYC residential properties exceeding $5 million assessed value to fund the subways?

  34. How about taxing the billionaires and other wealthy people with pied a terre/second home apartments in NYC? How about cancelling State and City funding for luxury parks (eg, piers on the West Side, the “ beach” etc) in Manhattan, that will cost millions and basically only benefit luxury real estate interests?

  35. Congestion pricing is not enough. Impose a high tax on diesel fuel, gasoline and use it to fund mass transit.

  36. I live on West 68th Street. If the congestion pricing starts on 60th Street, my neighborhood will become one huge, eternal traffic jam as cars seek a way out (or a parking space) before the 60th Street charge. No thanks.

  37. In all this talk about congestion pricing and the abysmal state of the transit system, there is no mention of the thousand of workers Amazon would bring to NYC’s already stressed transit and road systems. What do the people of NYC and Long Island City think about bringing 25,000 new workers into the city? Where will they live? Rents would increase, of course. And let’s not forget the $2.8 billion in tax abatements Amazon would receive. Does this sounds good for the residents and workers already there? It sure doesn’t to me.

  38. Congestion pricing has nothing to do with congestion. Stand on 6th Avenue and take an inventory of whom goes by: Taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, trucks, and vans for a variety of mechanical services. While they may pay more not one of those vehicle is going to stop doing business in NYC. The victims are people who come in from out of town for business , doctors, shopping, theater all who contribute out of state money to the economy of the city and don't spend the day driving here and there. Call it a driving tax, call it anything you want but don't insult the public into thinking it will reduce congestion.

  39. @Doug Wallace The real purpose of congestion pricing is all about having a revenue source, because if it really did help reduce congestion by getting people to stop driving, then no revenue can be made off of it and it will be seen as a net money loser for the MTA.

  40. Don't believe money-hungry politicians with an insatiable appetite for higher taxes. If the congestion tax is approved, the subway fare will rise anyway. Fight the good fight against more taxes. We are being taxed out of existence in NY. If Cuomo's plan is to encourage more and more people and businesses to move out of state then he is handling things brilliantly.

  41. @Asher Knowing the MTA, they will hike the fares no matter Cuomo decides to do with congestion pricing.

  42. Congestion pricing is overdue. It will open up billions in much needed transit funding that can be used for system improvement and expansion and it will reduce the number of cars on the streets, lowering pollution and improving quality of life. That said, this shouldn’t be advanced in isolation. Any legislation should also include concrete plans for improving the MTA’s contracting and capital program management processes. Otherwise this will just be throwing good money away.

  43. @Peter Most of those who support congestion pricing either don't drive on a regular basis or will be able to easily afford it on their income, which is why they are alright with it and don't seem to understand this from the perspective of those who oppose it.

  44. @Tal Barzilai How often do you drive into the Manhattan CBD?

  45. @Nick Or "why" do you drive into the Manhattan CBD?

  46. Solved It for You! Why not impose restrictions, keeping trucks and other large vehicles off all city streets from 9am-7pm or "rush hour". Prioritizing city and school busses and carpools is all that is necessary to end congestion. Deliveries of soda and ice cream to every corner bodega and to buildings without loading docks (meaning huge trucks that double park and block traffic, pedestrian and automobile) can happen at anytime--so can construction and maintenance of non-essential services. I've already stopped taking subways and busses because the additional dollars I pay for most Uber/Lyft Carpools is still worth it now that trains aren't reliable. Also, after breaking a leg earlier this year, I can confirm that it is impossible to get around the city (particularly outer boroughs) without car sharing apps.

  47. @Eless The city is already piloting off-peak deliveries. Expect expansion.

  48. Perhaps if NY state didn’t give all those tax & monetary breaks to Amazon it could spend it in the MTA, no? Given that all those extra workers will tax the subway system to the breaking point. But then Andy-boy couldn’t claim to be the modern FDR

  49. @Miguel Cernichiari Yes, but those 25,000 Amazon workers who will be making an average of around $125,000 a year will all be paying NYC and NYS Income Taxes and when they spend those nice salaries, they will also be paying NYC/NYS sales taxes and when they ride the subways, they'll be paying the fares, which will increase MTA revenues. In addition, the money they spend will improve the revenues of other businesses, who then pay taxes on the money. And if they buy someone else's condo or co-op, the City gets a transfer tax of 4%. I do agree with Cuomo that the MTA Board needs to be changed and the MTA needs to be completely reorganized with competent people leading the charge, especially when it comes to the capital rebuilding program, although he acts like the MTA was never under his control, which it always was. In the time it takes the MTA to replace an elevator in an existing shaft, China builds an entirely new subway line. The NYC subway system is shameful.

  50. @Martin Brooks Anyone who makes $125k a year is not taking the subway. He's taking a cab or calling Uber. However, that is not the point. The point is why is NYC subsidizing Amazon when it could use that money for the MTA, irrespective of how much the average employee at Amazon earns. What the MTA needs is money, the kind of money Cuomo never spent when he was a proto-Republican during his first two terms

  51. @Martin Brooks That assumes that those claims of jobs created and the average salary are based in reality. As a cautionary tale, look at the con Foxconn pulled off on the taxpayers of Wisconsin. Tax giveaways almost never produce the promised economic benefit. It is cognitive dissonance that you are so naive about Amazon Cuomo’s promises about Amazon jobs and so cynical about the subway.

  52. Please, please institute congestion pricing. Attempting to get anywhere, especially crosstown, during the morning rush can take an hour. Trucks, vans, police cars and double parkers often leave less than one lane open. The trucks are the worst...on the streets and bridges and in the tunnels. Perhaps they get double congestion pricing between 7:30-9:30 am. Traffic may run more smoothly.

  53. @LJB A lot of Manhattan congestion is caused by huge construction projects occupying 2 lanes of traffic. There's a huge example I can think of on a major truck route, albeit a bit north of 60th Street. The NYTimes constantly "forgets" about construction caused congestion any where in the City really. No, I'm not talking about a small contractor and his van for an hour or three. I'm talking about years long projects.

  54. New Yorkers are sick and tired of being patronized by a guy who for over 8 years has controlled the MTA, the MTA board, overseen its purse, and hired its leaders. Cuomo's been stealing money from the subway system and giving it to donors for their ski resorts all while destroying it, yet he promises to fix it by bravely blackmailing us into paying, yet again, for what we've been paying for all along. That's what Cuomo's "Congestion Pricing" plan actually is. It asks average New Yorkers to make sacrifices on top of sacrifices they've been making for decades. The good news is that in order to compensate for the billions of dollars New Yorkers invested in the Subway, and New York Governors from Pataki to Cuomo, and Mayors from Guiliani to di Blasio, decided to steal, New Yorkers get to pay more in use taxes and fees. I already can't drive anywhere in the city in the beat-up hybrid I got as a hand-me-down, and now it will cost a fortune if I need to leave the city and actually want to come home again. It's nice to know that Cuomo decided average New Yorkers are willing to shoulder the burden and bear the pain when New York already has incredibly regressive taxation. It's been exhaustively documented how city and state tax codes turned New York City's high-end real estate into one of the greatest tax havens in the world. Oligarchs who buy palaces in the sky pay hardly any property taxes, yet we're expected to gladly pay again, and suffer for over 10 more years on top of it.

  55. @Robert B . How many “average New Yorkers” drive?

  56. And yet again the NYT fails to mention that congestion pricing penalizes middle class workers who have to drive into Manhattan--say a hotel manager or building services worker. Commuter trains don't run all night, nor do they run every 20 minutes after about 8:30PM. Parking in suburban train station lots is not close to free or low cost. Also omitted: The massive cuts NYTransit by NYC starting in 1994, and then the even bigger cuts to the overall MTA budget starting in 1996. Giuliani and Pataki did this harm, and later governors and mayors didn't rescind those cuts. Then the commuter tax ended in 1998 or 99. But that gets "forgotten" again.

  57. @Yaj Those all night folks who drive would not be in the congestion category and not subject to congestion (peak) pricing.

  58. @Edwin: Not if they start work at 3PM, so as to say receive goods delivered during normal business hours. And hotels and buildings most certainly have limited delivery receiving hours. I'm amazed that I have to explain this to you. Well not. And notice how I avoided low paid (non-union) restaurant workers, who also have to show up at 3PM so as to do prep. They'd car pool, or put up with bad 1AM public transit. Right, there are people who do work say 10PM to 4AM consistently, but that's hardly the only NYC night worker type. You're clearly not real familiar with New York City. Life in NYC isn't simply what the Style Section tells you. You also "forgot" (like the NYT) to address the huge budget cuts to the MTA starting about 25 years ago.

  59. “Either the rider pays in fares and tolls or it’s congestion pricing,” Mr. Cuomo said at a luncheon. why is it up to driving commuters who pay $15 to get into nyc and then have to pay to park to pay an additional amount to support the subway? get more transit officers on the job to stop the fare evaders and increase revenue.

  60. @bored critic And they just (late 2018) raised parking meter rates all over the city and doubled it hefty parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Working class folks still need to drive to the city. But I don't think it's those that contribute to the raise in congestion. The city could also work smarter and clearing up bottlenecks. There is always traffic along certain routes, no matter what time of day.

  61. The mta needs to go back to the people. Make the mta a public office, which people can vote for the officials. The only person i trust is andy byford.

  62. How about stop giving discounts and benefits to illegals...

  63. I can’t afford a 30% increase. Add me to the fair beater list! Headlines will soon read “MTA going broke, 50% of riders can’t afford to pay”

  64. Hey, how about the city raises a couple of million by letting the mayor pay all his own legal bills. Getting hard not to pull my hair out.

  65. The middle class, what's left of it, is again paying the bill for the recklessness and mismanagement of the MTA and Path officials. LIRR riders pay on average, $350 per month. Now increase their subway and/or toll fares by 30% per month and you are essentially choking the life out of them just so they can ride a decayed, crumbling, inefficient, archaic subway system. Riders of the subway and LIRR, should come together and boycott for just one day. Just one. Stay home. Call in sick and dont log on to do any work. NYC will feel these major economic loss in about an hour. Will this ever happen? Never in a million years. Will the subway ever be fixed? Never in a million years WIll fares ever decrease? Never in a million years. Will anything ever change? Never in a million years. This joke of a subway and its ever present money problems, have been going on for decades. Why does anyone even think it'll be fixed now?

  66. Congestion pricing needs to be linked to a 25 cent DECREASE in the subway and bus fare - it is politically important to create millions of "winners." And it should be structured so that all drivers get one or two "freebies" a month - to minimize the number of losers.

  67. @Marc Kagan The winners get better public transportation and less automotive congestion.

  68. How is this a threat? Raise a tax on constituents that may occasionally drive into the city or raise the fares for a bunch of transit users that do not vote for you? Wow, that is a deep and complex problem for a state lawmaker. Gee, Alex (Trebek), let’s see Stick It to Transit Users for $2,000.

  69. @Michael Blazin The vast majority of the voters are in those trains and buses entering the Manhattan Central Business District, not the cabs and privately owned vehicles. Cuomo is using a political tactic to make the legislatures choose between the majority of their constituents (transit users) or special interests (drivers).

  70. Some riders pay a lot while others pay nothing: New bill would give free public transit ride to all New York students with one student saving $4,339 per year, if passed https://nypost.com/2019/02/02/new-bill-would-give-free-public-transit-ride-to-all-new-york-students/ ________________ New York City Students Should Ride the Buses and Trains Free JAN. 24, 1995 https://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/24/opinion/l-new-york-city-students-should-ride-the-buses-and-trains-free-780095.html?mtrref=results.dogpile.com&gwh=E6861F49FB564F5581E431A716B53EEE&gwt=pay __________________ New York turnstile jumpers cost $215million loss The agency projects a deficit close to $1 billion by 2022 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-03/nyc-turnstile-jumpers-bus-fare-cheats-costing-mta-215-million

  71. @TBVII I commuted to high school from Staten Island to Manhattan, from 1972-76. We got commuter passes for free. Bus fare was 5 cents a ride when the regular fare was 50 cents. Subway rides were free, but for one month per year, January as I recall, we had to pay full fare. Nobody pays more than $2.75/ride...yet. The claim that turnstile jumpers cost the MTA 215,000,000 as you claim is pure nonsense. That would be almost 80 million rides, an absurd proportion of total ridership. The MTA is mismanaged appallingly. The original budget for LIRR East Side Access was $2.5 billion, to be operating by 2009. It is now $12 billion, and,with no more cost overruns or delays (hah!), to operate in 2022. That $10 Billion overrun is only 50 times your fantasy cost of turnstile jumping.

  72. They never look at the cost side of the equation. What Cuomo and Hizzoner fear most is labor unrest.

  73. How about ripping up the “seven guys stand around while one guy pretends to work” union contracts first?

  74. The operative word in this unhelpful and illogical comment is “ union”. We need more jobs, not less, regardless.

  75. Will someone ever explain, maybe some newspaper, just who this constituency is that drives to Manhattan every day and what it is that makes them so politically untouchable? Is it numbers? Can it be they outnumber us sorry subway users? They seem to be the overwhelming concern amongst all the outer borough politicians. I have lived in the outer boroughs and worked in Manhattan and never came across a single acquaintance or coworker who indulged in the luxury of driving into Manhattan. So who are they?

  76. @Edwin I think congestion pricing isn't just touching those people, it's touching a much bigger group of people who cab around Manhattan after getting there. From tourists to workers to people on break.

  77. @Edwin There are 2 million car owners in NYC. 350,000 live in Manhattan. Most of us are working people who drive sporadically and don't clog up the roads. Some are people who actually use their cars for work. In most cases, we take public transport far more often than we drive. Plain and simply, this is a back door tax on a segment of NYers who have been unfairly vilified. The reality is that Albany lawmakers, including Cuomo, have been raiding the NYC transportation fund for years to support upstate boondoggles. End that corruption and NYC will have several billion dollars per year to fix our broken public transport system.

  78. @Edwin City workers, usually unionized, like cops, firefighters and teachers. You also have your wealthy donors.

  79. Well, at least we're not hearing much now about how congestion pricing will supposedly reduce congestion, improve air quality, etc., etc., which it will not. Nope, this is just an onerous tax on motorists. The billions it raises will be dwarfed by the MTA's insatiable $$ needs. So, yes, Governor, lets "choose" the inevitable fare raises. Not the obviously bogus 30% boost, but the proposed 4% hike. That's the best of the bad choices on offer.

  80. @minimum Current models estimate an 8-12% reduction in automotive volume dependent on the pricing scheme selected. That is pretty significant and can allow for a pretty substantial reallocation of space from automobiles to pedestrians, mass transportation and bicyclists. What kind of reallocation? Think the pedestrianization of Broadway through the cordon and bus lanes on the Queensboro Bridge.

  81. @Nick - "Current models" predict less congestion? They could be right. Or not. So what? We'd be left with [possibly] increased congestion + periodic increases in the CP fee = an MTA bonanza! Just another step towards the growing squeeze on the non-elites.

  82. Congestion pricing is a tired old battered and out of date idea that just won’t go away.

  83. Congestion pricing will add to the cost of deliveries — both to consumer and to retail outlets — of everything in New York from groceries, to pharmaceuticals, to clothing, to toilet paper. Guaranteed that cost will be passed along to New Yorkers, thus making congestion pricing a double tax and raising the already onerous cost of living in New York. Please also give a thought to the tens of thousands of Manhattanites who live below 59th Street. On those occasions when we might need a taxi — to get to the office if we're late, or to the doctor when we're ill, for example — we'll now suffer the extra punishment of Mr. Cuomo's bright new tax idea. Yes, the subway has to be paid for. The fairest way to do that is not through an indirect tax on baby formula and plumbing repairs, to name two examples of things that would eventually cost more if delivery and service vehicles are taxed for entering the city, but via the income tax, which is graduated and therefore the fairest way to go.

  84. If it’s passed on, then it’s not a double tax.

  85. @Daniel Let me clarify, Daniel. We will pay not only the tax when we ride in a taxi, a livery car, or our own automobiles, but also when we purchase goods that need to be delivered to ourselves or stores we shop in. So yes, double tax

  86. @New York Crank In every city where congestion pricing has been implemented, the effect on the cost of goods and services has been none to minuscule.

  87. How about using all the money the city/state has earmarked for increasing congestion by bringing 25k Amazon employees to Queens? That would go along way toward decreasing conveying two fronts.

  88. The MTA is bankrupt because it has a crippling debt load that far exceeds any gripes with worker pensions. No conversation about its finances should be without reference to this. The only way to make the agency solvent again is for the federal government to bail out the debt.

  89. Put congestion pricing on Uber, Lyft and similar services. Not the yellow cabs. Those drivers are suffering. The addition of Uber and company is what has added to the overcrowding of our streets.

  90. Congestion pricing is just another tax that many of us simply can’t afford. Try being elderly, Ill ...just trying to get to a doctor when the subway isn’t a possibility. Gouging the taxpayer who might need a car is not the answer. Rethinking all the for hire cars and regulated hours for certain services like deliveries...using even/ odd might be a start. My pockets are empty.

  91. Why don't you visit the doctor in NJ? And you also have to think about the many more senior citizens and others with limited mobility who must rely on mass transportation. Those riders in those buses crawling through the Manhattan central business district are older, poorer, and less healthy than the general population.

  92. There seems to be a confusion about what congestion pricing is. Originally, it was touted as an incentive-based mechanism to reduce vehicle congestion in Manhattan by levying costs on cars entering the boro. Now it appears that it has become, rather, a tax on whoever the governor targets to pay for his budget shortfall. In reality, I am surprised that the congestion pricing idea would be applied to taxis; their presence in Manhattan reduces the need for Manhattan or outer-boro drivers to use their cars in Manhattan. Thus, shouldn't taxis be off-limits to congestion pricing? Or are they just easy targets? Instead, a different sort of kind of pricing should be awarded taxi drivers - the ability to charge an enhanced fare for zones in the city that have low taxi coverage. These could be defined by analysis of current taxi coverage patterns, and would automatically adjust the fare of the cab when a ride is initiated in a low-coverage zone. Gov. Cuomo needs to come up with better ideas to finance the subway rebuild instead of beating up on taxis.

  93. @Dye Hard The better idea is to charge all automobiles that enter the city core, which is what Cuomo is pushing. Lessons from other cities have taught us that for-hire vehicles should also pay a charge, though a reduced one when compared to a non-for hire vehicle.

  94. The Association For a Better NY. They should call it a Broken NY. We have 3rd world service in a world class city. Our subways and roads are horrors, for service and condition. Both have been neglected for years. So someone's now has to pay. How about we raise taxes on the many wealthy residents in the NYC area. Let them pay. Let Wall St pay. Let the entertainment industry pay. Let the rich pay. The poor and middle class have nothing more to give, either in fees or taxes.

  95. NYC is probably the only city that does not have a zoned fare system for its subways. In London, the subway fare is as much as $10 from some off the outer stations of the tube. Why is a zoned fare system not on the table? Most of the trains to say, Parkchester, Brighton Beach, or Rockaway run virtually empty. Secondly what about shutting down thes lines after midnight?

  96. @Patrick A zoned fare system is less politically feasible than congestion pricing because it means even more people would pay more money, though that money would help. Congestion pricing is the best option because it will somewhat reduce traffic volumes in the core of the city while providing revenue. Congestion pricing also affects a very small constituency compared to other options, and a wealthier one at that. And it's not necessary to close the subway after midnight, in fact counter-productive. The NYC nightlife economy generates many billions of dollars and most maintenance can occur due to our express trackage. There would be little in the way of financial benefit for the MTA to shut down the subway overnight. Overnight service is not the reason why the MTA is in dire straits.

  97. Patrick, Luxury real estate/hyper-gentrification has been pushing people out further and further. Poorer people are far out in the boroughs and have to deal with long commutes. Increasing fares - zoned fares - would be catastrophic .

  98. @Nick Well then if the subways are running 24/7 because of the “nightlife economy” a very small contingency, then there should be a premium fare for these revellers. Why should New Yorkers subsidize people who drop several hundreds on a night out while expecting o get home at 4:00am for a mere $2.75.

  99. Not only is congestion pricing long overdue, but so is a government commitment to increasing the money spent to provide public transportation on a scale, and in a manner, worthy of the world-class city that New Yorkers love to imagine us to be. The convenience touted by advocates of ride share services is nothing when the choking traffic caused by the enormous increase in cares on the streets is factored in. Public transportation is as vital an element of decent urban life as anything I can imagine, and New York has for far too long allowed its system to starve.

  100. @GMG Agreed. And the Federal government should be the one providing substantially more money. Public transit in NYC can be substantially better.

  101. Just raise the money through income taxes - find a formula that balances city and state in a reasonable way. There is no reason that people in cars (and, particularly, working-class people who use their cars and trucks as part of their job) need to be targeted to raise funds for the subway.

  102. @dave There absolutely is a reason to target people in cars in the Manhattan Central Business District. There are many negative externalities that stem from congestion. Here are a couple: -Pollution -Crashes (into people and objects) -Road expenditure -Space that could be used better, but currently used for automotive storage and right of way. -Slower to get around for everyone, especially people on buses.

  103. Having lived with congestion charging in London, I think it is political incompetence for any city anywhere with regular traffic issues to not have congestion charging. Roads are a finite resource. There are a lot of cheapskates, whose time is not worth very much, who will drive rather than spend a few bucks on public transit. A congestion charge eliminates these vehicles, and they should be eliminated. It isn't just ambulances that need to drive across town quickly. People have important business as well. A robust congestion charge will help them to fairly decide whether their impact on NYC traffic is justified.

  104. London has a functioning subway system as an alternative to cars and taxis. We do not.

  105. @Carl R I agree, those poor cheapskates have no right congesting the roads and preventing my driver from getting me across town quickly for important business. I am particularly weary of all those immigrants who come here and presto, buy cars! After all, they walked, rode bikes, and took the bus in their old country, why should they come here and complicate our lives? I have business to conduct, get out of my way.

  106. @Ikebana62 The NYC subway moves millions daily, uneventfully.

  107. So let me get this straight: Cuomo can singlehandedly change the L line repair plan, but claims he doesn’t have control of the MTA? And we need “forensic” analysis to determine why this “Frankenstein” is wasting so much money, but 30 percent hikes or congestion pricing are definitely necessary? Even though he very recently killed a more standard fare hike? I smell dishonesty. God help us if he’s going to run for President soon.

  108. Hopefully congestion pricing will be a transitional step to just banning private autos from most of Manhattan and turning some road space back over to pedestrians and bikes and so forth. As the population continues to grow we can't continue to pretend it's 1950 just to satisfy a sliver of well off people. If you like driving the city is surrounded by numerous suburbs with excellent roads. Space is a public good and it is just too limited to use up on a few people who insist on the indulgence of driving their own personal metal box around a modern and very crowded city.

  109. @Anonymous It is. The city has been systemically reallocating space from automobiles in all the boroughs. Congestion pricing will lead to a reduction that can allow for more dramatic transformations (e.g. many more bus-only lanes).

  110. @Anonymous There are 2 million car owners in NYC. Most of them are not wealthy. They are working people. Most of those car owners use them for things like running errands, going out of the city, and work. Even if you somehow took half those cars off the road, NYC won't be turning its streets into pedestrian zones. Get your facts straight.

  111. @Anonymous You just don’t get it. Congestion pricing is a revenue raising tax scheme. Banning “private autos” would basically defeat the purpose of having it, not to mention putting hundreds of thousands of more riders on an already filled to capacity subway system. At that point we would have to pass a bicycle tax or maybe even a pedestrian tax. Why should, to follow your distorted logic, bicyclists and pedestrians get a free pass on that public good you call space? I mean wouldn’t banning tourism in NYC be a much better idea? Or maybe banning hipsters from Kansas or Ohio? There are just too many of them.

  112. Pedestrians should block the roads to stop traffic to bring to the whole community greater awareness of the discrepancy between those that take advantage of free access to roads while public transit users must pay unbearable expense or face the dysfunctional and unreliable service of the MTA. We are in this great city together, so let’s share the costs for all modes of transportation. The grace period for the car must end now.

  113. @Jason Montgomery "Highway Trust Fund" billions, paid by auto drivers all over the country via the gasoline tax tradeoffs foisted on them by NY, are corruptly used to subsidize urban subway users. We're doing our part for your rat race. Getting rid of the notorious "ghost employees" who play a key role in driving up NYC construction costs is just one step you can take to halt the death spiral the MTA is in today.

  114. Jason I guess those that subsidize the subways should dump trash cans on the tracks so drivers can express their unhappiness of their ever increasing costs to pay for mass transit that they don’t use.

  115. Congestion pricing has nothing to do with congestion. Let’s call it what it is a driving tax. If you really want to deal with congestion let’s take a look at deliveries blocking traffic, the inefficient methodology used to repair roads little used bike lanes and pedestrian plazas In the final analysis this tax is to make up for the corrupt and inefficient management of the transit system which begins and ends at the Governors mansion.

  116. @Patrick -The city is piloting a program to move deliveries to off-peak hours. This policy is planned for expansion. -The roads are beaten largely because of heavy congestion. -Before pedestrian plazas and physically separated bike lane conversions, there was gridlock.

  117. Nick take a look at first and second aves. The roads were newly paved only to be torn up weeks later. I hardly think that’s heavy wear That is poor planning and inefficiency. Yes there was always gridlock and the introduction of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have made travel times worse. That is simply a fact

  118. @Patrick The roads are not torn up in a matter of weeks but another culprit is maintenance and resulting patchwork repairs after repaving. Heavy congestion and weather are the other two major reasons for worn roads. And there is no evidence that bicycle lanes have made gridlock worse. DOT studies show a minuscule change if any in average travel time, and in some cases a slight improvement. Look at some of the worst areas for gridlock, they don't even have any protected bicycle lanes.

  119. Most of the congestion tax money will go to pay for the new bureaucracy that will be needed to administer it. Are we so naive as to believe that any of it will go to improve the subways? We would have to tax every car entering Manhattan $1,000 a pop to raise the billions and billions that the MTA needs to modernize the dysfunctional subway system. I am beginning to think that the best solution is to buy a nice new car and get the heck out of NYC.

  120. @Asher The MTA is an abysmal steward of the public fisc, but the revenue inevitably is going to be collected via the EZ Pass system, and no new bureaucracy needs to be installed to run and collect.

  121. I can understand a fare hike on the Metro North and LIRR, but how to justify it on the subway which comes closest of all MTA transit operations to breaking even? And shouldn't the Postal Inspectors prosecute MTA officials for saying that the TBTA has "excess revenues" which are diverted to subsidize Metro North and the LIRR? The revenues are not excess of anything. They are an unlawful tax.

  122. @Eugene: Tolls are an "unlawful tax"? Please provide a citation for that statement.

  123. Batten down the hatches. As the NYC subway and bus system spirals ever downward at an ever faster rate, more and more people will turn back to cars - Ubers, Lyfts, hacks, limos, you name it. Loss of revenue will mean an even faster deterioration, and a faster abandonment. Eventually gridlock will choke the streets and the very life of the city. As is traditional in this country, something (the right thing?) may be done then, only after all the wrong things are exhausted. We'll see.

  124. This is the most important information in this article for people to understand: "Mr. Cuomo sought to address those concerns by noting in his speech that few people in the region commute to Manhattan in cars. Only about 1.3 percent of Brooklyn residents, 2.2 percent of Queens residents and 2.2 percent of Westchester County residents drive to work in Manhattan, according to census figures." The lawmakers need to do what is right for the region, and congestion pricing is absolutely necessary (and has been for a very long time). Stop pandering to special interests and vote on behalf of the communities you represent! The people dependent on mass transportation to reach the most congested area in the country.

  125. What about people who just go into Manhattan to see their doctors? Guess it's time to go to local doctors if congestion pricing gets enacted. Doubt I'll go into Manhattan much after that. Guess its time to leave the tri-state tax-um area for the long term outlook.

  126. @Angel Public transportation? Where are all you people coming from that must enter Manhattan south of 60th St to visit a doctor? And how is that more important than everyday mobility?

  127. @Angel Take the subway.

  128. @Angel Some people have conditions that they can't be using the subway or buses, which is why they need to be driven or take a taxi to their doctors instead, so thank you for being apathetic to those with such disabilities.

  129. Typical political move pitting one group against another, drivers and pedestrians. Most drivers spend 2 to 3 hours a day on the road where a taxi or rideshare, 8 to 10. Medallion cabs where capped at around 13,000 for years but some "genius" decided that adding 100,000 rideshares would be a good thing for the city. As more and more pedestrians abandon mass transit in favor of for hire vehicles further eroding much needed revenue for mass transit. The average driver is being blamed for grid locked streets and the answer to budget shortfalls through congestion pricing. Is it possible that 100,000 rideshares, with former mass transit riders it's customer base, the real cause for congested streets all over the city?

  130. @mlb4ever Before app-based for-hire vehicles, there was gridlock.

  131. @Nick Actually congestion had been easing prior to about 2010. Since that time though, there have been two big changes. 1. The narrowing and closure of streets for bicycles and pedestrian plazas 2. Big increase in Uber and ecommerce delivery vehicles.

  132. @LS You left out the ever-increasing economic prosperity that always drives increased traffic.

  133. New York Congressional and state legislators need to reign in unbridled military spending (which employs people in New York) and ensure that America CAN afford to maintain public transit (and health and infrastructure)_ not be in the pocket of a bankrupting war state's addiction to the military/industrial/Congressional complex that President Eisenhower warned about in 1961.

  134. So Congestion Pricing on private vehicles coming into town from NJ, LI, NY suburbs, and from other states, clogging the streets and polluting the air, would be a “politically difficult battle.” But us locals already paying $2.50 extra for any length of a yellow cab ride, $2.75 extra for any length of Uber, Lyft, etc ride, and even 75 cents extra for any length of shared ride (those rides who actually meant to ease the clogging and the environmental damage!), that went through quickly and without a battle. I am now paying 20% to 35% tax on each and every short ride I need to take, especially later at night, when I don't have enough of a life span to spend on subway and buses wait. So the locals pay now, the out of towners might pay, might not, sometime in near or very far future.

  135. Gee, what a concept. You mean the people who actually use the subway may have to pay more to do so? Because people who don’t use it aren’t paying for it? That’s the bottom line folks.

  136. @Mike L, all those subway riders pay taxes that are used to maintain roads they don't drive on.

  137. Let's get this straight. We are going to charge cars a tax to use our streets so we can pay to fix our subways? Since business will be able to write off this tax we are going to charge them who does the burden really fall on? People with means don't dare drive to mid town during the day they find other means. So who is the burden of congestion pricing going to fall on? The combination of the toll bridges and congestion pricing is only going to hurt the people who can least afford it. Why not cut the fat at the management heavy MTA and then find a way that is more equitable to fix our long neglected transit system?

  138. Patrick said it all Do away with the bike lanes which tale away two lanes for cars. There was a "surcharge" imposed cars registered in NYC over 35 year ago which was be for subway and road maintenance. The surcharge became permanent where has all that money All the vehicles coming into Manhattan on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and 59th Street are people from Brooklyn and Queens. or Long Island..not out of state people 100 % of the vehicles are from NY city residents "Congestion pricing has nothing to do with congestion. Let’s call it what it is a driving tax. If you really want to deal with congestion let’s take a look at deliveries blocking traffic, the inefficient methodology used to repair roads little used bike lanes and pedestrian plazas In the final analysis this tax is to make up for the corrupt and inefficient management of the transit system which begins and ends at the Governors mansion" thank you Jay Hirsch.

  139. @J H Before there were bike lanes, there was gridlock. The MTA has also lost federal, state, and city funding over the decades.

  140. @J H I would like to know if any Bike riders who use the bike lanes are taxed for the cost of NYC implementing these bike lanes. Is there a Bicycle License? Is there a registration fee? These bike lanes have caused some problems by taking away spaces for trucks that deliver goods to stores and restaurants, and parking for residents in neighborhoods. These lanes have caused traffic jams by narrowing lanes that cars used to be able to use. During freezing cold winters, what is the usage of bike lanes? But lately, the main cause of traffic congestion in Manhattan is the influx of Uber, Lyft and other for hire cars. The taxi industry was ordered to pay medallion fees in order to operate in the city and these ride sharing cars have run amuck! There are 13,000 taxis in NYC and 150,000 ride sharing cars. There's your problem.

  141. @Carl LaFong Before there were any bike lanes or app-based for-hire vehicles, congestion during peak hours in NYC was very severe. And of course bicyclists contribute to the bicycle infrastructure, which is provided by the government, which operates on taxes. And there is no evidence that protected bicycle lanes have led to a more than a minuscule change in average travel time. In fact, in many cases, roads have been sped up because there are now areas for vehicles to turn and fewer collisions.

  142. Congestion pricing is long overdue. Implement it and put the money into helping to make NYC’s public transit system among the best in the world!

  143. Congestion tax is a Cuomo Band-Aid. He should have been working on improving the subway system his first day in office, 9 years ago, to avoid all of this.

  144. The story of the L Train repairs tell the story of MTA costs. We "needed" to close and repair the tunnels and then suddenly we could keep the tunnels open and do the job for a lot less money. Multiply the story of the L Train by a hundred or a thousand and it explains why we need fare increases instead of having a $1.50 fare today. New York politicians and MTA management are corrupt, derelict in their responsibilities, and incompetent.

  145. Congestion pricing and higher taxes on automobiles in general should be a no-brainer -- the negative impact of cars on the quality of life in New York City is inestimable. Why should pedestrians have to face life-threatening situations by simply walking our streets? Why do we allow the noise of honking horns and revving engines to destroy our peace-of-mind? Why do we tolerate slow poisoning by petrochemical exhaust fumes? Why do we encourage a technology that is rapidly heating the planet towards catastrophe? It is increasingly clear that the automobile can only survive as a mode of transport today through a series of hidden (and not so hidden) subsidies for fuel, infrastructure, policing, cleanup, environmental and public health costs. Fewer than 50% of New York City households own a car (23% in Manhattan), and yet we all pay for the damage to our health, our safety, and our freedom to enjoy being outdoors. From a broader perspective, it's beginning to seem obvious that if humanity is ever to put the brakes on climate change we will have to phase out automobiles. A congestion pricing plan should be part of a much larger shift in priorities.

  146. @ando "Congestion pricing and higher taxes on automobiles should be a no brainer.. Wanna bet you live near a subway?

  147. @Sh The overwhelming vast majority of people who enter the Manhattan CBD on a regular basis use mass transportation to do so.

  148. MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the agency tasked with running the new travel tax (congestion pricing) is an entity with powers that few know. They need not follow the city's laws, they have their own internal security department separate from the Bridge and Tunnel officers, the procurement laws are very opaque and liberally used to the benefit of the agency. They need not follow any state or local standards as they take no federal or state money. The staff is cloistered and many have been there for years. New staff come in and quicky leave when the realize that unless your part of the "club" your opportunities are zero. I suggest someone do a deep dig on them. Is this "Mad Men" mentality MTA group the one suitable for taking on an initiative like this?

  149. What Mr. Cuomo fails to realize is that those in charge of funding the MTA in Albany don't really give a toss about whether New Yorkers are burdened with a 30% fare hike or not. And no matter how hard he throws down the gauntlet, we'll be the ones paying for it in the end.

  150. 1) Cuomo is disingenuous if he says he's not in charge 2) what happened to Capital Programs funded over the past 20 years and how have the funds from MTA surcharges on call phone bills and on sales taxes been used 3) something doesn't add up.

  151. The Governor's remarks prove beyond a doubt that we have a leadership crisis in NY. Given the billions of dollars budgeted between NYC and NYS, how can the only significant funding source for the MTA be congestion pricing? What happened to the days when government leaders were expected to tighten their belts and reprogram spending priorities? It's also time to rid us of the myth that a proposed $11.52 congestion fee will be static and not change. In order to work, the congestion fee will have to rise along with the tolls that the MTA charges. So for example, expect the proposed congestion fee to rise by whatever the MTA Board decides later this year. More disturbing will be the congestion fee when it's finally acknowledged that the proposed congestion fee will do little or nothing to reduce traffic and increase traffic speeds in Manhattan. The congestion fee in the last proposal ($11.52) only increases traffic speeds by about 7 -10%. This will only raise traffic speeds in Manhattan from about 7mph to at most 7.7 mph, which is not a perceptible improvement. One can only then conclude that in order to reduce traffic and increase traffic speeds the congestion fee will have to go up by 50 to 100 percent if in fact the congestion fee aim is to speed up traffic and not solely to raise money for Transit.

  152. Forget “congestion pricing.” Simply put E-Z Pass toll readers on every bridge and tunnel into Manhattan. That way, the people who live there don’t get punished for driving within their home borough. Cuomo’s Rube Goldberg plan that exempts cars crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and thengoing directly north on the FDR Drive, and exempting the 59th St. bridge going North will create traffic nightmares. It will also make the streets in western Brooklyn and Queens congested as those who formerly drove look to park without toll. And the stated $15 billion this will purportedly raise is a mere 25% of what the MTA needs in capital improvements. Cuomo has starved the MTA of funding for 8 years, and now he resorts to what he knows best: extortion.

  153. so glad I moved out of new york finally!

  154. @berts me too. Life is better just about anywhere else

  155. Notice how people go nuts when the government wants to raise taxes or impose fees? I say let the government open some government-owned and run gambling casinos where the government keeps all the profit. The effect is that the suckers who frequent these places will just hand their money over with nary a whimper. Put slot machines right next to the MetroCard machines and all over the City. Furthermore, pot is on the way to being legalized. Let the government open up pot stores to sell it and keep the profits to spend as the government sees fit, like on the subways. In New Hampshire they sell liquor in state run liquor stores. The government there cleans up. Why can't we do that with pot? As far as regulating pot goes, keep it simple, whatever restrictions apply to booze should be applied to pot. You have to be 21 to buy it and use it, no driving under the influence, no using on the open streets or parks, etc.

  156. "Politicians do not like to vote for toll increases" says the Governor. Except they had no problem raising the tolls on the Thruway, GWB, Whitestone, Throgs Neck and Triboro -excuse me- RFK.

  157. @Edwin Those aren't politicians who raise the tolls on the bridges. It's the members of the Port Authority and Metropolitan Transit Authority, and they're hand picked by the Governor.

  158. "But Mr. Cuomo also slammed the transportation authority, calling it a “disgrace” and a “governmental Frankenstein.”" It's Mr. Cuomo who is the disgrace.

  159. Wow. The people that actually use the subway would have to pay, and the people who don’t would not have to pay. As a driver in a non subway state I am tired of my gas tax money going for everything but roads.

  160. @Rich: And why should New Yorkers pay for your roads or highways? Also the MTA is not a federal agency, it is an NY State agency. The federal government doesn't contribute much to its budget, so you're wrong there to imply you're putting money real tax dollars into the NYC subway system. Then the subways and buses aren't free now in Feb 2019. What is "reporting" omits is huge cuts to the MTA and specific NYC Transit budget starting about 25 years ago. The NY Times also ignores how much huge construction projects, of years duration, block major streets and avenues in Manhattan. Also, when you next (or ever) visit NYC, you are neither to use streets or subways in any manner.