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."

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bloomberg: It’s Up to Albany to Revive Congestion Pricing

|
If congestion pricing is going to resurface as a viable option to relieve traffic, help plug the enormous gap in the MTA capital program, and keep transit fares from ballooning in the years ahead, it won’t come from the Bloomberg administration. Testifying in Albany on Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal today, Bloomberg said he won’t get […]

Queens Pricing Opponents Push a Fantasy Commuter Tax

|
Last week the Queens Civic Congress held an "MTA Capital Plan Forum," where members peddled their commuter tax revival plan to transit chief Elliot "Lee" Sander as an alternative to congestion pricing, which Sander says is vital to the future of his agency.  To be fair, the QCC has promoted this idea for several years, […]

Northeast Queens Transportation Panel: Buses, Subways, LIRR, Access-a-Ride, Clean Fuels, Fair Fares, Tolls, Congestion Pricing

|
"2007 – A Transit Odyssey" (Legislative Forum): Buses, Subways, LIRR, Access-a-Ride, Clean Fuels, Fair Fares, Tolls, Congestion Pricing Moderated by: City Council Finance Committee Chairman David Weprin Speakers: MTA CEO/ Executive Director Elliot Sander State Senator Frank Padavan Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, member, Public Authorities Control Board Assembly Member Mark Weprin City Council Environmental Protection […]

Proof That Congestion Pricing Supporters Do Exist in Queens

|
Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee Chair Mike Heffron sends along this report from last night’s traffic commission hearing at York College in Jamaica, Queens. No huge surprise, Assemblymen Andrew Hevesi and Rory Lancman both came out against congestion pricing, citing not enough evidence it would work and demanding transit improvements without explaining where the money would […]

MTA Capital Plan Calls for $4.5B in Pricing Revenues

|
  The MTA released a five-year, $29.5 billion capital plan today. As expected, the agency’s course relies heavily on congestion pricing, to the tune of $4.5 billion in revenue. Highlights of the three-tiered plan: Tier 1 ($20 billion) includes 590 new subway cars, 2,976 buses, 440 commuter rail cars, 44 subway station rehabilitations, and system-wide […]