Congressman Anthony Weiner released his own MTA rescue plan today. As if that in itself weren’t surprising enough, the outspoken toll opponent has modified his position, sort of. City Room reports:
[Weiner] said on Monday that making new tolls — which he would set at $4.15 — payable only by non-city residents would be a compromise that could gain traction in Albany and would be a bit like reviving the commuter tax, which was eliminated ten years ago.
He predicted the tolls would raise $391 million a year.
"This is my contribution to trying to solve this problem," Mr. Weiner said in a telephone interview.
Acknowledging that he has fought tolls in the past, he said, "We seem to be slipping from, should we have them, to, how should we have them. And I’m trying to engage that second discussion."
Weiner, who has not spoken with Sheldon Silver or Malcolm Smith about his proposal, is also calling for the MTA to cut administrative costs, post more of its financial data online, and for more power over the agency to be vested in the mayor, rather than the governor.
It’s hard to know where to begin here. If you’re a transit rider, how much does it help to have another "plan" muddying the waters? On the other hand, if you’re Anthony Weiner, how great is it to jump in at the last second with a plan that carries no political risk whatsoever?