As the MTA struggles to find a reliable source of dedicated revenue and the city remains choked by traffic, higher-ups in the Bloomberg Administration appear to be putting out feelers again on a potential congestion pricing plan. Stephen Goldsmith, the new Deputy Mayor for Operations, sat down for a chat with NY1 this week, and during the interview, he spoke at length about the future of congestion pricing.
While he isn’t sure if the New York political climate in Albany would pass a congestion measure, Goldsmith understands the need for traffic pricing and the costs driving exerts on society. “The issue is,” he said, “you’ve got a limited number of transportation mechanisms and different ways to get around — Both how you get around and where you are driving or what subway you are taking or what bus you are on. How New Yorkers use those resources will have to be very efficient for the infrastructure to maintain the number of people, and congestion pricing causes people to think differently about how they consume those roads and consume those bridges. So it’s a very important signal to the populace.”
If Bloomberg wanted to make one last play for congestion pricing in the final years of his reign as mayor, after the upcoming election would be a fine time to do so. Those in Albany whose support is required wouldn’t be fighting a campaign, but even still, congestion pricing with revenues dedicated to the MTA has the support of the majority of New Yorkers. The measure also passed the City Council two years ago and would do so again. The time might be right for another push.