New Yorkers are at the moment feeling deep financial ache, with insufferable taxes, inflation hitting new highs, meals and fuel costs skyrocketing, and so they now are compelled to select between placing meals on their desk or paying their power invoice. But, at a time after they want monetary assist probably the most, Kathy Hochul needs to turn the screws on struggling New Yorkers upward of another $34.50 a day.
That’s proper. Final week, the MTA launched its plan to start congestion pricing, charging as much as $34.50 per day for drivers touring south of sixtieth Avenue in Manhattan. As if it wasn’t unhealthy sufficient that this Hochul Hike would increase one other $1 billion a yr on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers, with no changes that would force the MTA to spend this taxpayer money more efficiently or effectively, the kicker is, traditionally, congestion pricing has failed spectacularly at its acknowledged targets.
Take a look at London
Even after implementing congestion pricing in London, drivers nonetheless ended up spending much more of their lives in visitors, whereas additionally paying way more yearly within the congestion-pricing charges which might be supposed to chop down on visitors. The backup turned so heavy within the areas flowing simply outdoors of London’s congestion zones that measures needed to be taken to cut back the quantity of automobiles there as effectively.
Congestion pricing in New York Metropolis would have the identical influence on the encircling boroughs as felt in London. Many vehicles that won’t be able to make use of various routes will end up causing more traffic on major highways in the South Bronx and Staten Island. This implies extra bumper-to-bumper visitors on the Cross Bronx, Staten Island Expressway and different accompanying bridges alongside your commute to and from work each day.
London’s plan for congestion pricing blew up of their face when their various modes of transportation weren’t as environment friendly as driving. As a consequence of their exemption from congestion tolling, use of private-hire drivers, corresponding to Ubers, soared. Regardless of including greater than 300 buses to their fleet, London commuters continued to make use of automobiles as a result of bus reliability dropped dramatically.
London’s points are solely foreshadowing for New York’s, particularly contemplating the state of our public transportation system. These in favor of congestion pricing level to the subway or different strategies of transportation as options, however how can Hochul look New Yorkers straight within the face when her pro-criminal insurance policies like cashless bail, Much less is Extra, defunding the police and way more are eroding public security?
The New York Metropolis subway system has racked up many undesirable headlines over the previous couple of months. We’ve had Daniel Enriquez, a Goldman Sachs worker, shot and killed on the Q train. We watched the video of a cop brutally attacked for making an attempt to implement legal guidelines in opposition to turnstile hopping only a few weeks in the past. New Yorkers are grabbing onto poles and guard rails as a result of they concern being pushed onto the tracks.
Again on monitor
If Kathy Hochul and the MTA need to see much less automobiles on our streets and extra individuals in our subways, perhaps they need to work to truly make them a more appealing mode of transportation.
To cut back congestion, we have to take steps to verify the MTA is spending cash effectively and various modes of transportation, like our subways, are protected. As a substitute, many commuters who stay in New Jersey or Connecticut might elect to change or depart their jobs based mostly in New York Metropolis, additional stifling New York Metropolis’s financial restoration in a metropolis that has been plagued by COVID shutdowns.
On paper, congestion pricing goals to create a income pipeline for the MTA to modernize public transportation infrastructure and scale back congestion in numerous elements of town. In follow, this can be a failed coverage that may solely deepen the financial ache which so many hardworking New Yorkers are already experiencing.
With New York already going through a mass exodus, this Hochul Hike will assist kick the outward move of migration into overdrive.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-LI) is a candidate for governor of New York.