Congestion Pricing Opponents Present New Plan

Friday, February 29, 2008

REPORTER: Thirty state and city lawmakers who oppose congestion pricing have introduced their own plan. They say it would raise almost as much money for the transit system as Mayor Bloomberg's original plan.

Instead of an $8 fee to drive into central Manhattan, the alternative would add a $4 surcharge for on all rides in taxis or livery cars and higher parking fines.

The opposition is led by Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

BRODSKY: It raises the money, it reduces congestion, it cleans up the air, it is fair to the outer bouroughs. It focuses on what is actually causing the problem - which is 40% of the load that is taxis and black cars.

REPORTER: Brodsky says the surcharge would target more affluent New Yorkers than congestion pricing would.

A spokesman for the taxi industry says the surcharge wouldn't reduce the total number of taxis on the street, but would lead to them being empty more of the time.

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