Jan 19, 2018
Save us, congestion pricing; you’re our only hope. Frank Franklin II/AP A fee-based plan may be the only hope for the city’s costly transportation crisis.
Worsening traffic in New York City is a personal inconvenience, an environmental blight, and an economic drag—possibly to the tune of $20 billion. That’s the latest projection by the Partnership for New York City of how much the metro area stands to lose for each the next five years, if nothing is done to unjam cars.
Congestion pricing is widely viewed by transportation advocates and researchers as an essential intervention into the city’s growing transportation crisis. It’s an idea that’s succeeded elsewhere—London’s city center has seen a 44 percent decline in car entries since it cordoned off a fee-zone in 2003. Congestion pricing was last seriously attempted under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City in 2008, but there’s still no precedent for a true congestion pricing scheme in the U.S.
That could soon change, if a much-anticipated report by Fix NYC, a traffic advisory panel appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in October 2017, turns into law. Released on Friday for review by the New York State legislature, the report recommends a three-phased approach towards smoother streets and more transit revenues. It suggests a charge for driving into Manhattan’s core. One possible number: $11.52 for personal vehicles.
Here are the three phases:
Phase One: Fix what’s broken