NY Governor Cuomo: There's No Political Support for Congestion Pricing

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 01:54 PM

(photo by Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn't changed his mind about congestion pricing.  Cuomo said there's isn't "political support" to pass it.

Also Tuesday Cuomo was asked the last time he'd ridden the subway. Cuomo said it was before he became Governor. By contrast, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rides the subway most days. Cuomo grew up in a suburban neighborhood in Queens and now lives in Westchester.

At an event Tuesday in lower Manhattan to highlight the state's efforts to curb distracted driving, WNYC asked the governor if he supported an iteration of a congestion pricing plan.

Former New York City traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz is touting a plan that would toll the East River Bridges while lowering tolls on other, non-Manhattan bound spans in an effort to both reduce congestion and give the city's transit system a funding boost. It's gotten support from some corners -- but New York's politicians are wary.

Here's the exchange:

Q: Have you seen Sam Schwartz’s revised congestion pricing plan? Do you support it?

A: I have not seen it. We’ve talked about congestion pricing for many years. We’ve tried to pass it in the past. It hasn’t passed. I don’t know that anything has happened to change that dynamic. I just don’t know if you have the political support to pass it.

That position is virtually unchanged from his position as a candidate for governor, detailed here.

On the subway, the Governor said:

"Our subway service our bus service is a tremendous asset for the city and the state. It works extraordinary well. It’s a great investment. It’s one we want to continue and grow. We can always make it safer. We can always make it faster. We can always make it cleaner. But it’s a great service."


(with reporting from WNYC's Brigid Bergin)


Comments [4]


Another issue with congestion pricing is trust. Nobody believes that the money from tolls will be used to for transit. And judging from Albany's past raids on the MTA budget, they are probably correct.

Transit prices continue to go up, making the choice to use it less and less rational. Lower transit prices while raising tolls would get more people on transit.

Apr. 26 2012 08:25 AM
Mark S.

Cuomo's continuing lack of interest in transit is apparent: he thinks safety, speed, and cleanliness are the top issues. How about the sheer survival of the system and the mountain of debt it continues to accumulate?

Apr. 25 2012 02:04 PM

Though 60% of NYC residents supported pricing if it supported public transit, according to Jan 08 poll. That's before Sam Schwartz's smarter, fairer tolling plan.

Apr. 25 2012 10:02 AM
Steve O.

Q: Governor, have you heard the new congestion plan that reduces tolls for outer borough drivers and rationalizes the way tolls and highways work together?

A: (Taking fingers out of ears.) I haven't heard anything.

Apr. 25 2012 09:19 AM

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