Today’s Headlines

  • Politicians Must Learn to Sell Road Pricing (Economist)
  • Bridge Tolls Slammed By Everyone Except Brodsky (NYT, AMNY, Post, NY1)
  • Even New Zealand Has Car Lobbyists, and They Hate Pricing Too (N.Z. Herald)
  • US Still Won’t Act on Climate Change (NYT)
  • Transit Customers Are Better Off With Fare Hike (News
  • Instead of Decentralizing Subways, Start With Buses (NYT)
  • SI Commuters to Admire $1M Fish While Waiting for Ferry (News)
  • Spitzer Creates Smart Growth Cabinet (MTR)
  • Time to Give It Up for Penn Station Pedestrians (MTR
  • Rome’s Chief Parking Enforcer Fired for Using Fake Placard (Reuters)
  • JF

    “At a certain point, with everything going up and up and up and up, life is becoming much more difficult for the average New Yorker to afford. And I don’t want those people ever to say, ‘That’s enough! I’m out of here,’” said Markowitz.

    To Markowitz’s credit, he has campaigned against the transit fare hike. But is it reaching for me to observe that he never used the phrase “average New Yorker” to describe people who ride subways, and is now using it to describe people who drive over the “free” bridges and are anything but average New Yorkers? He also never expressed any fear that if the subway fare went up, it would make people leave the city.

    “As the mayor experienced in his first year in office, even talking about these tolls is extremely divisive and does not enhance the public policy debate,” Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) said in an e-mailed statement.

    I love how Liu says tolls are wrong because mentioning them upset people in the past. This is stupid meta-politics. It’s not the question of tolls that’s divisive, it’s the way that politicians like Liu and Weprin respond to it.

  • New Zealand’s car lobbyists may hate pricing, but it lookl like they take it for granted that the automobile will be hit by one fee or another:

    “But he did not believe Aucklanders would find road-pricing any more acceptable after Ms King reconsidered the issue next year, when he said motorists would in the run-up to the general election be feeling even more “hammered” in anticipation of carbon levies and a new regional fuel tax to pay for public transport.”

    Imagine if the debate in the US were about whether or not to have congestion pricing IN ADDITION TO carbon fees and a fuel tax to pay for public transit!

  • Spud Spudly

    How about this one on the MTA’s bloated bureaucracy:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/12/17/2007-12-17_news_finds_mta_waste_and_bloat-5.html

    Like I said before, a good auditor could comb through the MTA and easily come up with the money they want from congestion pricing. And it could be done by reducing the bureaucracy, not creating any entirely new one.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Like who Spud, Price Waterhouse for example?

  • Spud Spudly

    Government is FILLED with auditors. What do you think the Comptrollers office is at every level of government? Heck, the MTA probably has a dozen auditors on staff.

    But if they want to hire an outside auditor to examine their operations then all the better. Price Waterhouse? Great idea!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I only offered PW up because I think they are the auditor of record, I’ll check next time it comes up, but its one of the big firms. My point is that the “waste, fraud and abuse” is really a shallow argument. Of course eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, is a great “idea”. And to think that there are already not top “outside” auditors assigned to the case is naive. The problem is when “waste, fraud and abuse” are only incidental, marginal issues with regard to the State underfunding the MTA by a Billion Dollars in a single decade. My point is also that there are already the top people in the business assigned to ferreting it out.
    Also, constantly, blindly accusing the MTA of waste, fraud and abuse only cripples the cause of congestion pricing to the extent it is tied to MTA funding. Why give this terrible, evil, lying agency more money? Oh yeah, they move 5 million people a day basically on time and safely. No big deal.