Uniformed officers are trying to kick congestion pricing to the curb.
Several police unions say officers using their personal cars should not have to pay the fee drivers entering Manhattan south of 61st Street will be charged.
"When they join the police department, they are assigned to where the needs of the service require them to go to. They could be in Rockaway, Queens, or in the 1st Precinct in Downtown, Manhattan. They have no choice as to where they are assigned to. It is at the needs of the service," said Roy Richter, the president of the NYPD's Captains Endowment Association.
Elias Husamudeen, the president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said his members shouldn't have to pay, either.
"They should definitely exempt, or consider exempting, New York City correction officers from congestion pricing," he said.
Husamudeen argued it's just not feasible for some correction officers to take mass transit instead of using their personal vehicles.
"Correction officers have what most people don't have: we have something called mandatory overtime," he added, saying his officers have odd hours and may have to report to work at, for example, 3:30 in the morning.
The governor and the legislature inserted congestion pricing into the new state budget to raise billions of dollars to fix the transit system and reduce traffic. But they left it to a six-member board to determine what the charge should be and who should be exempted with so-called carve-outs.
Supporters of congestion pricing are not hot on exemptions for first-responders which could shield tens of thousands of personal vehicles from the new fee. That would deprive the transit system of badly-needed revenue.
Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement,
"As the Traffic Mobility Review Board assesses how best to implement congestion pricing, we encourage them to ensure New Yorkers get the full benefits promised by this new policy."
Actual emergency vehicles will likely be exempt.
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