Ready to shell out another $13 or so each day to drive to work in Manhattan? Sure you are! That’s only $65 a week. Consider days off and you’re probably only going to pay another $3,000 a year. No big deal, right?
Yeah, sure it’s not. Yet this is what the powers that be, from lame-duck Mayor de Blasio to newly minted Gov. Hochul, want you to do. The goal is to pour more money into the MTA through a new toll revenue stream called congestion pricing, while also discouraging driving. After being shelved for awhile, the plan is back on the agenda, with a series of public online meetings about it set for Sept. 23 to Oct. 6 [see story on page 2 or at qchron.com].
Yet you can’t afford the fees, and none of us can afford to discourage people from driving into Manhattan. According to the Partnership for New York City, only 23 percent of the borough’s office workers have returned, far less than had been expected at this point. Nothing that adds to the cost of getting into town should be considered. And drivers already pay a lot into the MTA to subsidize those who don’t drive.
Congestion pricing sat on the shelf for a while. Let’s put it back up there, until this crisis passes at the very least.