MTA Chief Lee Sander Talks Congestion Pricing in Queens

MTA CEO, Queens native and LIRR commuter Lee Sander received a warm reception then "faced some tough questions when he addressed a combined meeting of the
Saul Weprin and Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Clubs on Thursday in
Hollis Hills" last Thursday, the Queens Chronicle reports:

Although he was welcomed back by old school chum Councilman David Weprin, many rank and file club members, including the councilman, expressed grave misgivings about the mayor’s congestion pricing plans.

Robert Friedrich, president of the Glen Oaks Village Owners Inc, said that congestion pricing was on everyone’s mind. He indicated that he represents a working class community. "How do you justify pricing on grounds of congestion when you’re charging people who can’t afford it?" he asked.

Sander reiterated his support for the plan. "In an era of global warming we need resources for transit. We’re not going to find the money to respond to increase population on Queens Boulevard and the Hillside Avenue corridor without it."

When Friedrich countered that the tax will be very regressive, hitting lower income residents far harder than those earning $100,000, Sanders said he wasn’t going to argue it won’t have negative effects, but he thought it was a case of the greatest good for the largest number.

One club member, who asked not to be named commented, "It’s all crap. Bloomberg is a billionaire, he doesn’t even notice the money."

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