It appears that New York City is finally set to follow London and introduce congestion pricing. Essentially what that means is anyone entering New York City by automobile, below 60th street, will pay a toll based on day of the week and time. According to details of the released plan, cost will vary between $9.00 and $23.00. That’s in addition to bridge and tunnel tolls and cost of parking. There is some indication that tolls may be deducted and that passenger cars won’t be billed more than once per day.
The idea is to reduce congestion in Manhattan, by charging an exorbitant toll. This will in turn, discourage car owners from driving their cars into the city. People will be forced, by the city, to partake in the woefully unacceptable mass transit system. The money raised, a reported $1 billion, will help offset a portion of the $2.5 billion deficit, expected in 2025, according to the MTA. The revenue will supposedly go directly to improving mass transit, even though I would argue to the contrary.
First thing we should understand is that government doesn’t always have citizen’s best interests at heart. For example, following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the government told us that the air around Ground Zero and around the city, was safe to breathe. Unfortunately, too many heroes who worked on the pile, several who I know, either succumbed to cancer or are battling that and other diseases. We live 15 miles (24km) south of the site and we could barely stand the wretched smell emanating from the burning remains, especially in the early days as the wind was blowing out of the north. My point is, these bureaucrats do and say whatever they want, regardless of truth. Everyone has an Agenda!!
The city wants us to believe, that “we’re reducing congestion to make your air cleaner.” But if we’re moving towards electric cars, (California just announced the banning of new gasoline powered cars by 2035. New York will undoubtedly follow suit), how is congestion pricing going to help the environment? What the city is actually doing, is attacking the middle class and making the city much more friendly to wealthy car owners who will in no way be affected by this unjust tax. This is a feeble attempt to make the city, and the world, more “equitable.” Misery Loves Company!!! Welcome to the world of Socialism!!
New York City Mass Transit is a disaster. The only way to fix the subway would be to demolish it and start from scratch. That of course can never happen, so it will continue to deteriorate. Homelessness, rampant crime, filth, rats, and constant delays which are in fact unavoidable, make it an unacceptable alternative to the automobile. It’s simply uncivilized which is why I haven’t used it in many years. Some people are great at making believe and some people of course, have no alternative. But until the system rivals the best transit cities in the world, befitting the most important city in the world, it won’t be ok. The Mayor and the MTA will spew some nonsense about it being the greatest system in the world, just requiring some cosmetic improvements.
This plan will hurt the overall economy as those who would drive in to eat or see a show, will simply find alternatives, closer to home. People aren’t going to put themselves in danger to ride the subway home late at night with their families, to one of the outer boroughs. Commerce will suffer as people will refuse to be rooked by the city. It’s just one more reason for people not to return to the office. Local businesses will continue to suffer due to the lack of office workers. It’s a slap in the face by the city and a terrible plan, but unfortunately appears to be heading towards approval.
We have heard time and again how New York should be free of cars and people should bicycle, walk, skateboard or scooter to work. However, this isn’t LA or Miami. Despite climate change we will experience sub-freezing temperatures and snow and all of those alternative means of transportation are useless in those conditions. This leaves either automobiles or mass transit as the alternatives. For those who can afford it, obviously they will choose to drive. For everyone else, they will either continue working from home or suffer, riding the worst transit system in the country. Either way, it will continue to weigh on the city’s already suffering economy.