Cuomo Pitches First In Nation Congestion Pricing For Manhattan, Drivers Would Pay $11.52 Below Midtown

The New York Times reports:

Driving a car into the busiest parts of Manhattan could cost $11.52 under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that would make New York the first city in the United States with a pay-to-drive plan.

Similar traffic charges are already used in cities like Singapore, Stockholm, London and Milan, but New York has rejected or ignored versions of them dating to at least the 1970s. The newest plan embraces the twin goals of easing Manhattan’s choking traffic while raising badly needed revenue for the city’s failing subways and buses.

Trucks would pay $25.34, and taxis and for-hire vehicles could see surcharges of $2 to $5 per ride. The pricing zone would cover Manhattan south of 60th Street. In a key change from past efforts, drivers would not have to pay if they entered Manhattan by all but two of the city-owned East River bridges, which are now free to cross, as long as they bypassed the congestion zone.

Also from New York Times:

So why is it that the State of New York can tell the City of New York what to do with its streets? The question is a natural one in light of a proposal unveiled on Friday to charge drivers who enter Midtown and Lower Manhattan, a congestion pricing plan that would raise money for mass transit.

The answer lies in Article IX of the New York Constitution, which outlines the state’s responsibilities and powers over its local governments, including their very creation. Leverage over local affairs was codified in a 1929 case, Adler v. Deegan, which found so long as there was “substantial” state interest, the Legislature could act on matters of “property, affairs or government,” an opinion — written by the jurist Benjamin Cardozo — that has been widely construed.

And while the issue of home rule — the ability of local governments to manage their own affairs — still generates lawsuits and calls for constitutional reform, the state’s authority has been upheld by the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The New York Daily News reports:

On WNYC de Blasio was skeptical, saying he did not see a guarantee that all the money generated will go exclusively to fund subway and bus service in the city.

“It does not achieve in my view some of the things we need the most — a guaranteed form of funding for the MTA,” he said. “I believe the millionaire’s tax is the best way to get that,” he said, referring to his own proposal for a tax on the super-rich. The governor and state Senate leaders have called his plan “dead on arrival.”

One issue that’s contributed to the traffic mess in Manhattan is the proliferation of for-hire vehicles like Uber and Lyft who cruise the streets without passengers. The mayor conceded that the city needs to “overhaul” how for-hire vehicles are regulated.

  • Kruhn

    Perhaps it’s time for Uber and Lyft to be banned from NYC. Plus shouldn’t New York make its own policies?

    • Boreal

      Joe covered that in the post. Article IX of the New York Constitution.

      • Kruhn

        Should read after coffee

        • AC

          Should read before commenting

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            Based on your comment history, you seem like a delightful, happy person who probably has many friends.

          • AC

            Of course you feel that way – you are here for validation and socialization; I am here seeking an advancing dialogue. Be assured that my strongly negative feelings and perception of your intelligence and and gravity are as strong as yours re. my delight and happiness.

          • hdtex
          • AC


          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            What exactly was advancing about:
            “Should read before commenting?”

            I think you don’t have a very advanced idea about what the word “advancing” means.

          • AC

            when advancing, scrub is often encountered and must be cut down. That is what is advancing.

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            So, you’re doing conversations a favour by simply being a colossal asshole. Gotcha.

          • AC

            Of course you feel that way – you are here for validation and socialization; I am here seeking an advancing dialogue. Be assured that my strongly negative feelings and perception of your intelligence and and gravity are as strong as yours re. my delight and happiness.

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            Well, at least we know that you’ve mastered copy-paste.
            Beyond that, I’m highly skeptical that you’re capable of anything.

          • AC

            Of course you feel that way – you are here for validation and socialization; I am here seeking an advancing dialogue. Be assured that my strongly negative feelings and perception of your intelligence and and gravity are as strong as yours re. my delight and happiness.

      • Joe in PA

        Do you have to be so nasty about it? Sheesh. I’ll block your ass.


        Good morning B! Sunny and beautiful here. I just finished reading our local paper…fired up about the awful coverage. My newest pet peeve: headlines that don’t match the story. Arrrggghhh.

    • stevenj

      In San Francisco they (upwards of 45,000 of them) are already banned (although a lot of them flagrantly ignore it) from the red transit only lanes on major streets. Why? Because of their obnoxious practice of double parking (even in the red lanes) slowing down public transit and everyone else behind them. Since Lyft and Uber refuse to be regulated like the taxis, the City does not consider them to be public transit. The bus drivers and passengers have complained the loudest about their lanes/bus stops being blocked.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Tax on the rich? …what kinda commie bastard proposed that?

    • JAKvirginia

      Trump may have to move!

      • Bambino

        Hopefully to Siberia.

      • olandp

        No, he’s not that rich.

        • killreligion

          That tax is misnamed. Many people are millionaires if we count our retirement savings. It’s a tax on income over a million in a given year. As you say that wouldn’t hit trump or many people with creative tax attorneys. It is a tax on the very rich as that’s a lot of taxable income!

          • I don’t know about the rest of you, but my retirement savings is NOWHERE NEAR a million. Even combined with my husband’s we are way, way below that.

          • killreligion

            Keep saving it adds up fast. You are probably younger than me, I’ve been doing max irs allows for 28 years including the extra six now that I’m above 50 (so now 24k plus company match which is around another 6)

            It’s not a lot each year but it grows fast. Everyone should set budget to save first and what’s left is your budget if at all possible.

            But my point was technically this tax does not target most “millionaires “. Very few in fact.

      • narutomania

        He’ll outsmart everyone and save money by flying in with his private helicopter.

    • justmeeeee

      Not really–tax on the middle and lower classes, the ones who will hurt if they have to pay about $12 to come into midtown. The rich won’t feel it and won’t give a shit.

      • liondon#iamnotatraitor

        The tax I was referring to was the one DeBlasio mentioned in the above article on the rich.

  • Boreal

    Uber and Lyft should be paying a fee for cruising empty vehicles around the city.

    • Romero

      Yeah, so the customers get raped as well right? *Rolls eyes*.

      • Boreal

        No they should only be charged when they are cruising empty. Since most riders use the apps to call them, there is no need to cruise like a traditional taxicab.

  • olandp

    Are they going to set up toll booths? How will this fee be collected?

    • J Ascher

      I’m sure there are more than enough cameras in lower Manhattan to be able to catch vehicle identification.

    • TexasBoy

      There may be a lane with a toll booth, most with the electronic tags like other states use for tolls. And cameras to catch offenders.

    • Dazzer

      They’ll set up cameras at the edge of the congestion charge area.

      The cameras will flash on and read number plates. Before you enter the congestion charge area, you have to pay money via phone, app or local bodega. If you’ve paid the charge, the camera and computer recognises your car.

      If you haven’t paid the charge, they track you down and fine you.

  • maisie bailey

    No, he’s not that rich.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Bot alert.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    If I had to choose between the two plans, I’d go for the congestion pricing plan, which would raise money as well as reduce vehicular traffic.

    That said, the less state micromanagement in city affairs, the better. Assemblyman Hayseed from Heehaw County should have no say in NYC traffic issues.

    Edit: Why not both congestion pricing and a millionaire tax? World-class transit doesn’t come cheap.

    • killreligion

      I just read an article implying if only one person at the top left NYC the budget would take a significant hit. The super rich pay A LOT for the privilege of living in these amazing apartments in this amazing city, in property and city income tax already.

      I saw a listing a few years ago, a 200 foot wide sandstone building , 4 floors, crazy renovation. It was surprisingly tasteful . the master bath cost multiple millions, it was all alabaster. Listing was more than $100M. The kitchen was something like 4 or 5 thousand square feet. I remember it was. I bigger than my large cheap in the boondocks main residence. magine the property taxes?

      The added tax would be counterproductive likely.

  • Do Something Nice

    Yay! Making the roads inaccessible to the poor and middle class. What’s even better, parts of the NYC public transportation system are crumbling so let them eat cake.

    It’s a good day to be rich!


    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Very few poor and middle class people drive to work in lower Manhattan. Between tolls, gas, parking fees and wasted time, driving in Manhattan is already quite expensive.

      I agree that major transit improvements in the burbs and outer boroughs must be an integral part of any congestion pricing plan.

      • Do Something Nice

        Well of only very few poor and middle class are affected, then it must be OK.

        • stevenj

          If I was “poor” a $2.75 subway/bus fare would be very attractive – as it is – gas/bridge/tunnel tolls + parking = already a lot.

  • Friday’s_cat

    Commercial tagged vehicles should be exempt. More park and ride facilities built.

  • justmeeeee

    The key is to provide excellent and reasonably priced public transportation as an alternative–something the United States SUCKS at!

    • Rebecca Gardner

      Not NYC. They do such a wonderful job that residents don’t need or want a car. I bought a car when I was a teenager on Long Island. Then I lived in NYC until I was almost 40 and never needed a car.

      Sadly, you are 100% correct about the rest of the United States, and it’s mostly because, especially in CA, they all seem to hate trains. You propose a rail system and it’s like people heard you say we should all start eating babies.

      • justmeeeee

        NYC has the best in the US, but compared to European cities, still no cigar. Paris, London, Vienna, Prague, Madrid, Berlin…the list goes on and on. In NYC you can eventually get everywhere, but the system is for the most part filthy and these days pretty unreliable. European cities maintain their systems so they can be counted on, and many times they’re even pleasant to ride.

        • 🐾vorpal🐾

          The public transportation system in the Netherlands is a feat of modern engineering. First time I actually can honestly say I enjoyed using the public system.

          The seemingly endless sea of insanely hot Dutch boy eye candy didn’t hurt too much, either.

          • justmeeeee

            And on many trams in the center you buy your ticket from an actual person on the tram who is also there to give tourist advice. So, so cool.

      • leastyebejudged

        LA had one of the best rail stems in the world.

        What happened ? Fucking General Motors happened.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Greater London has arguably some of the best public transportation around AND a congestion tax.

      • justmeeeee

        That’s the point. If you have great public transport, then people can use that instead and avoid the tax. In NYC you will pay the tax or have to put up with crap public transportation.

    • leastyebejudged

      Well, what chance did any of us have against GM ?

      They intentionally destroyed public transportation in this country, and they did it city by city by getting corrupt LOCAL leaders on board with tearing up ALL the rail.

      The USA is what it is because of rampant corporate corrupting government at EVERY level.

      • Growing up as a child in the late 60’s I saw railroad track next to the road out front of the dress shop my smother patronized. The town (Orchard Park) was just a little Quaker town 20 miles south of Buffalo and that was the remains of the trolley tracks that ran between the two. It was well used until G.M. killed it.

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    $11.52 is such an odd amount.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      I think it’s to give the impression that the plan has been carefully thought out.

      • DaddyRay

        They considered $11.53 but that was just going too far

    • narutomania

      “Hold on a second, sweetie. I think have two pennies rolling around on the floor of the back seat. I just need to crawl back there …”

    • prixator

      Usually when those kinds of odd amounts are proposed, there is a unmentioned tax or other fee that brings it to a round number.

      I am a big fan of “all-in” pricing.

  • royinhell

    If they just put traffic cops on 9th Ave from 3-7pm and ticketed every car, truck, and bus who ran a red light/blocked the box, they’d have billions in revenue.

    • narutomania

      They have the anti-gridlock signs up. Whey don’t they actually ticket people?

  • Steven H

    Good! Cars take up too much space.

  • Charles Nelson

    Will they have toll booths for tourist cars from out of state?

  • I’ve lived in San Francisco my whole life and always dreamed of a downtown without cars. Vote openly gay Senator Mark Leno in as our next Mayor. It would be a first for San Francisco (openly gay Mayor) and long over-due.

  • Brooklyn Joe

    I live in Brooklyn. For people who actually LIVE in NYC like myself and not in Manhattan – I go back and forth to Manhattan EVERY day. Admittedly I don’t drive – but when I do or when I take a Lyft/Uber/Taxi why do I have to pay extra? I already pay going through the tunnel or across Triborough Bridge (or Verrazano). I don’t believe this money will go to transportation (knowing NYC bureaucracy and corruption) – and as someone said – the rich won’t care. Maybe a commercial fee for trucks etc. but otherwise this seems like a bad idea. And btw – when it’s warmer I ride my bike into Manhattan twice a week and ride Citibikes all the time – so I am not opposed to non-car transportation.

    • The issue there, Joe, is that while the NY Taxis are already paying licensing fees, those NY streets are now crammed with Uber and Lyft drivers who don’t. In just a few years of operation, the sheer number of vehicles in downtown Manhattan has skyrocketed and the time to travel just a few blocks has gone way up. Emergency vehicles are already having major problems getting through.

      In a country where people can basically drive their vehicles anywhere they want, there aren’t many means to dissuade an excess of people from doing so. Congestion fees are one of the few ways possible.

  • JWC

    it seems to be what inner cities are all doing

  • killreligion

    Uber and lyft t (to a lesser extent) are a big problem. Like Facebook idiots use services with no morals and society hasn’t caught up with ethical guidelines

    Using Uber is STEALING from regulated services that pay extreme overhead to operate legally and safely

    With such good transit this seems fair, vs the millionaire tax which doesn’t target those causing the problem which means no incentive to take transit is created

    I always use the free bridges from 87 which I get from the sprain via a jaunt on an avenue in Yonkers-old route from high school that is still in congested. Then willis/second ave bridge if going to east side and GW ramp from Bronx to Manhattan if going to west side or downtown. I wonder how they will collect as the GW ramp puts you very north and you could exit west side highway at 79th and not pay this toll (and stop for a few lbs of cheap coffee and cheese at zabars!)

  • Lars Littlefield

    Gosh, this sounds like a NYC problem.

  • Stubenville

    $11.52? $25.34? Who came up with these amounts? $11.50 and $25.50 were too difficult?

  • SFHarry

    Horrible plan. Basically it says the area is for the rich only. Non-rich people cannot afford to drive there.