The passage of a New York congestion pricing plan in April was a joint effort by transportation advocates and elected officials that took years of planning and negotiations. According to one view of the groundbreaking legislation, it will grant the state an unprecedented degree of control over what happens on NYC streets – at least those south of 61st Street in Manhattan.
A newly created traffic mobility review board will advise the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority on how congestion pricing will work, including how much it will charge drivers to enter the core business district, who will get discounts or exemptions and what kinds of variable pricing there will be based on the hour or season. The board will consist of a chairperson and five members, and some say the city may have limited influence on the board’s actions. The mayor can recommend only one member. One other member will come from the Metro North region. A third will come from the Long Island Rail Road region. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bridge and tunnel authority – which is controlled by the governor – gets final say over all six appointees.
Alex Matthiessen, a leading figure in the coalition that helped push the bill over the finish line, said Mayor Bill de Blasio has to ensure that the remaining three members of the traffic review board – those not already determined by location – be from the city.
The congestion pricing plan is “the best hope at getting the trains moving again,” the mayor’s office said. “The mayor has been clear all along that it had to include a guaranteed lock box for New York City riders, fairness for the outer boroughs and carve-outs for people experiencing hardships. He delivered, and now the MTA can fix its broken subway system.”
A spokesman for Cuomo noted that the legislation calls for a memorandum of understanding between the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation.
Source: Crain’s New York Business