New York legislature kills congestion pricing bill
State legislators have rejected New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to charge most car drivers $8 and truck drivers $21 to drive in the city’s downtown at certain times of the day. The legislation, called “congestion pricing,” was intended to encourage use of the city’s public transportation network, and Bloomberg said it was a “sad day for New Yorkers” when the bill died.
Many lawmakers from New York’s outer boroughs and suburbs opposed the bill, saying it unfairly targeted commuters who make up most of their constituency, according to the New York Post. The failure of the legislation will cost the city nearly $500 million annually in federal money for public transportation improvements and $354 million in immediate federal funds, Bloomberg said in a statement. “The idea for congestion pricing didn’t start in our administration, and it won’t end today,” Bloomberg said. “The $354 million we would have received from Washington tomorrow will go to another city in another state. And, too many people from more than 170 environmental, labor, public health and business organizations recognize the merits of congestion pricing and, hopefully some day, we will have more leaders in the legislature who recognize it, too.”
Bloomberg said the city would continue to move forward on other initiatives in PlaNYC, the city’s carbon emissions reduction program, including planting 1 million trees, requiring hybrid taxis and installing green roofs and solar panels on city buildings. The mayor’s entire statement is available at www.nyc.gov.