With few details to his plan, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday continued to talk up congestion pricing as a solution to help fix the city's troubled mass-trainsit system. The governor's comments came one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed the idea as not politically viable in the state legislature, which would need to approve the plan.
With the subways in crisis, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing congestion pricing, a plan that would charge drivers who enter parts of Manhattan.
Pushed by then mayor Michael Bloomberg almost a decade ago, congestion pricing died in the state legislature. Cuomo says it's an idea that's time may have come - and he prefers it to Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to tax the wealthy to pay for mass transit.
"Longterm congestion pricing would be smart policy and provide a viable long term financing scheme. The millionaire's tax is, I don not believe politically viable," Cuomo said.
On Monday, Mayor de Blasio shot down any suggestion that congestion pricing would be feasible.
"So long as this current Republican State Senate Leadership is in place I think it is inconceivable. Particularly given the focus that the current Republican leadership has on Long Island," De Blasio said.
But it was actually the Assembly Democrats who shut down congestion pricing in 2008 over the portion of the plan that would impose tolls on East River bridges. Nearly a decade later, newer members sound more open to the idea.
"Putting tolls on east River crossings, I think, would be a sensible solution but not the only solution," said State Assemblyman Robert Carroll.
Assembly Democrats met in conference for five hours Tuesday, but ultimately did not make a decision on whether to hold oversight hearings on the MTA and current subway woes.
"It's possible we will hold hearings, we are not going to do anything before Labor Day. Whatever we do we want to make sure people are paying attention and we have maximum input," said State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
At the end of the day only the legislature has oversight to hold hearings on the MTA, and congestion pricing must ultimately be aproved by the state legislature. Cuomo is expected to unveil his congestion pricing plan during the state of the state address in Jnauray, although some believe with all this discussion, it could actually be sooner.