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.