Streams

Changed Deadline for Congestion Pricing

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is still acting as if March 31 is the deadline for a congestion pricing plan to pass in Albany, though a wrinkle in the way the state and federal government set the deadlines may actually give him an extra week.

Yesterday, the mayor's office released a draft of a bill that aides call a starting point for future deliberations. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

The 41-page document shows just how much of his original proposal the mayor has been willing to give up.

Whereas last summer's version would have given future mayors control over how congestion pricing revenues got spent, this one leaves it all up to the MTA.

Also, the draft bill stipulates that the $8 fee, which will almost certainly go up over time with inflation, could be raised only by the full legislature.

Bloomberg has been holding coffees at Gracie Mansion and dinners at his townhouse almost every day to win over fence-sitters, but one conspicuous fact remains - he still has not found anybody passionate enough about the cause to carry the bill in the state legislature.

For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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