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Fate Of Congestion Pricing In Hands Of City Council

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The fate of a plan to charge drivers to enter Manhattan at peak times is now in the hands of city and state lawmakers, but final approval is far from a done deal.

The commission charged with looking into the congestion pricing plan unveiled its final recommendations Thursday.

The panel wants to charge cars $8 and trucks $21 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The plan also includes a one dollar surcharge on taxi rides in the area.

Residents-only parking will be implemented in neighborhoods bordering the congestion zone to prevent people from driving to just outside the congestion zone. The proposal also calls for an increase in parking meter rates.

Nearly half a billion dollars is expected to be raised for mass transit projects from congestion pricing.

The plan is being taken up by the City Council Friday, where it has the support of Speaker Christine Quinn.

Drivers we spoke to today in Manhattan are on both sides of the issue.

"I think it's ridiculous! Commercial vehicles pay a lot of commercial taxes, that's why we pay tarrifs," said one motorist. "I don't think it's fair that we pay commercial taxes and we still can't come in and do deliveries."

"I drive in, so I'm not really for it," added another.

"I think it's a good idea," added a third motorist. "Get rid of some of these cars."

"I think it's a good idea," added a fourth. "Eliminate more traffic in the city. I think it would be better. I don't pay mind it. I don't pay for it — it's my company."

A traffic reduction plan must be approved by March 31st for the city to collect more than 350 million dollars in federal transportation funding.
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