Monday, July 16, 2007

Throw the Tea into The Hudson

Mayor Bloomberg's "Congestion Pricing" plan is basically taxation without representation for those living and commuting in NJ and CT. It will cost these states millions of dollars to accommodate the extra load of commuters who don't want to pay the congestion toll (tax) if they drive into Manhattan. These people don't have a voice in the debate just because the closest, major, urban center happens to be in another state. Nor would these states be getting a cut of the $541 million dollars NYC would get from the federal government. Further all the revenue garnered from the "Congestion Tax" would go back to NYC and not back to the states and regions who could use the money to improve the infustructure for their own public transit systems. And let it be stated New York City can not house every worker who works in NYC but lives outside it's borders.

There are a sea of cabs out there cutting drivers off and running down old ladies. Maybe we should halve the fleet. Or perhaps force every able bodied New Yorker to ride a bike. More bikes and less cars makes it safer to ride a bike, cuts down on emissions, and gets the cube dwellers some exercise.

4 comments:

Rob said...

Umm... I think the increased revenue from parking and commuter traffic CT and NJ will make them feel better.

Can't we half the cab fleet *AND* charge a toll?

rachael said...

Actually, most NJ transit parking lots don't charge a parking fee. Further, most station parking lots are at capacity during the week, so if even they did charge a parking fee there would be no added revenue due to the fact that additional cars couldn't park.

Also, my point that people living outside NY State but who still work and consume in its largest city are being affected by a policy they have no vote or voice in. Your assumption that NJ and CT would be happy with fictious parking revenue is just an assumption as you don't know how the representatives voted on the issue because they can't.

One day, if you took someone's side people might like you better.

Rob said...

Aren't the NJ no-fee parking lots being subsidized by revenues from NJ Transit? More riders = more money to build more/bigger parking structures.

Out-of-city/staters being affected are affected by thousands of NYC policies they have no say in. Sales tax, income tax, municipal statutes, the smoking ban, the cost of a subway token, and so on. Is this one somehow more egregious than the others?

Actually, at least for NJ, they actually have a bit MORE voice in this than in the others, as they have some control over the Port Authority and NJ Transit boards, whose job it will be to make this change less burdensome for the people of NJ (by adding parking, etc.) With the smoking ban, there was absolutely nothing they could do except stand there and watch their basic individual liberties being stripped away from them.

I thought I had taken a side. Bloomberg's right on this one. Fewer cars + more/better mass transit = good.

rachael said...

You continue to be wrong.

First, just because I haven't railed against the legislation you mention above from the point of view of out of state workers has no bearing on the validity of my point today.

Second, NJ transit is subsidized by the state of NJ. Therefore, more riders doesn't increase profits. Further, in the likelyhood ridership on NJ transit and Metro North sharply increase the two rail lines would have to invest far more money to accommadate the new riders than they'd actually make off the new riders.

Third, the MTA has admitted publicly on NPR during the transit strike that if the people currently driving in the city started taking the subway the MTA wouldn't be able to handle it. We have also seen the MTA mismanage a billion dollar surplus. Even if the MTA was compotent and good improve the system it wouldn't happen overnight making nyc mass transit miserable for riders and full with delays and other mishaps.

Fourth, NYC is the only entity to financially benefit from the federal subsidy. Not even Long Island or West Chester would see any of the $500 million. Even though all other regions would be investing in the improvement of mass transit.

Fifth, you would not take Bloomberg's side if he had a blog you comment on or if he were at a bar you were at and espousing his plan, you'd argue with him because you're pain in the ass.