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City Council Hears Testimony on Congestion Pricing

Monday, March 24, 2008

City Council Members are hearing testimony for both opponents and supporters of congestion pricing today. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aides again dangled the prospect of losing a $354 million federal grant as an incentive to approve the plan within the next seven days.

Queens Council Member Melinda Katz, who opposed congestion pricing, criticized that tactic.

KATZ: We are basically thanking the federal government for giving us the money to give us permission to tax ourselves and to me that doesn’t make sense.

REPORTER: The federal grant is supposed to pay for more buses and other upgrades to prepare the mass transit system for the additional riders who would give up driving rather than $8 to get into the busiest parts of Manhattan.

The hearing continues through this afternoon. Another session will begin at 6 p.m. to accommodate people's work schedules.

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