Bloomberg Slams Senate MTA Plan, Says Tolls Must Be Part of the Mix

Just days after saying he would keep his MTA rescue advocacy efforts behind the scenes, Mayor Bloomberg today criticized the Senate’s latest toll-free plan. The Daily Politics has quotes from a morning Q&A session:

"I spoke to Dick Ravitch again this morning – just a few minutes ago –
he does not believe that the current plan that the Albany Senate has
proposed will do what is necessary and that is provide a stable
inflation link source of funds adequate for the MTA to keep the fares
from jumping up dramatically and to be not be faced with this issue
every few months," Bloomberg told reporters (including the DN’s Kate
Lucadamo) during a Q&A in the Bronx this morning.

"…I’m a little bit bothered by a proposal that would put a
taxi fare surcharge on here in the city to build roads upstate," the
mayor continued. "New York City already sends more money to Albany than
we get back, we are fundamentally the economic engine of the state and
we subsidize it."

Liz Benjamin writes that Bloomberg "thinks the best plan of action would be to go back to square one" — the original Ravitch proposal — but that he could get behind Sheldon Silver’s version, which also includes tolls on East River bridges.

"It is going to have to be something along those lines. And these compromises where they keep trying to get votes by changing the
formula for every different place, it leads to a piece of legislation
that doesn’t really accomplish what we want."

The Senate bill was introduced yesterday. It’s not clear where Majority Leader Malcolm Smith plans to get the votes to pass it.

  • Good on him for sticking his neck out. Let’s hope it helps.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Yeah at least he isn’t joining the election year pandering and hypocrisy as I expected after term limits repeal, though I still expect some nasty fiscal surprises the day after Election Day.

    Meanwhile, if this is what our state officials are like this year, imagine next year! We may not get a budget until petitioning is over and all the challengers have been succesfully thrown off the ballot.

  • Maybe he realized that more people are in favor of tolls than against, so that its good politics (as well as good judgment) to push for them

  • Glenn

    If the Republicans want to become relevant again, they should unilaterally come out in favor of the Silver plan. That would cut the legs out from the Fare Hike Four, and probably end Malcolm Smith’s short reign as Majority leader of the Senate.

    It would make the Senate Democrats look foolish, disorganized and unprepared for leadership…which would be accurate.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Give some props to Bloomberg. Its an election year and he is hyping bridge tolls, I had to wait my entire lifetime to see that. Had he only done that last election we would be home free by now.

  • Ken

    Maybe Smith will get the votes in San Juan or Beijing. While New Yorkers are trying to figure out how they’re going to cope with a 25% fare hike (not to mention the resulting increased traffic and pollution), Smith and some other state senators are getting set to jet off on a globetrotting tour that will take them to Puerto Rico, Israel, China and India.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bloomberg Says There’s No Reason Pricing Shouldn’t Pass

|
Mayor Bloomberg (far, far background) at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton this morning It’s now or never for congestion pricing, the MTA, and maybe even the city itself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning. Speaking before a sold-out crowd at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton, Bloomberg and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters were the guests […]

MTA Blame Game: Lowlights From Queens

|
The MTA roadshow is in full swing, with raucous public hearings on service cuts drawing hundreds in Queens and Staten Island last night. Some press outlets are questioning whether the hearings actually get anything accomplished. It’s a good question to chew on, since the MTA Board’s options are limited by the agency’s massive budget gap. […]

Transit Riders to Albany: Get to Work on a Real MTA Solution

|
Photo: Ben Fried. Yesterday’s rally in Union Square drew hundreds of transit riders calling on the State Senate and Albany leaders to enact a long-term solution for the MTA’s enormous funding shortfall. Judging by the cheering sections in the audience, most of the crowd was mobilized by the Facebook group "1,000,000 People Against the NYC […]

Congestion Pricing Plan Advancing Rapidly

|
Sewell Chan at the New York Times’ Empire Zone has more on this morning’s meeting between Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Spitzer and US Dept. of Transportation secretary Mary Peters: Mr. Spitzer said at a news conference this morning, "There will always be some congestion and the good news is there is economic growth and there’s vitality […]