Click for the latest Flushing weather forecast.

January 30, 2008

Congestion pricing benefiting the poor?

The Metro newspaper ( found inside the lobby of my college) has a little article in it's Voices section that I thought was thorough and competent. Melissa Mark-Viverito suggests that the current plan by Michael Bloomberg and Co. to charge drivers to enter Manhattan would noly affect the upper classes.".. 5 percent of commuters in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx travel to Manhattan by private car. People who drives cars to work also earn 30 percetn more per year than those of us who use mass transit." mrs. Viverito also goes on to explain how the extra income generated from the new tolls, will go towards improving the subway and Bus systems.

If all of the author's facts are true then i can see myself becoming a proponent for congestion pricing rather than my initial reaction to oppose any additional fees placed upon the middle class. the proposed price to enter Manhattan is approximately $8.00 per trip. Figure 5 times per week = $40.00 weekly. My prediction is that the $40.00 extra wont deter anyone of affluence. However, the majority of that upper 5% of people driving into Manhattan may not be able to afford such a toll. The sum of the tolls over a years time is a significant $2080.00.

perhaps if the city would work with the drivers and create an E-Z Pass discounted system or something similar to the system in place fro commuters who use monthly metrocards.

But what about taxi cabs? Wont this $8.00 fee hurt them the most out of everyone? Will it hurt yes, is it going to kill the industry or make rides into the city significantly more expensive? No, I'm sure there will be a loophole or exemption for livery cabs.

Thanks for reading,

We Light Up Queens