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Albany Reform

Silver Calls Hearing on Pricing and MTA Capital Plan

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will hold a hearing Thursday on how congestion pricing revenues would figure into the MTA's five-year capital plan. He will be joined by anti-pricing Assembly Members Richard Brodsky and Denny Farrell.

The Sun reports:

The MTA's executive director, Elliot Sander, who will testify at the hearing, has said Mr. Bloomberg's plan to charge drivers $8 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street would generate $4.5 billion in revenue, which the MTA could borrow on in advance. Even with the use of congestion fee funds, the MTA budget has a $9 billion shortfall.

Mr. Silver said in a statement yesterday that he is concerned that the congestion plan would not be fully funded and that it is unclear whether the proceeds from the traffic tax would be devoted to capital projects alone or to routine maintenance and operations.

The congestion pricing plan would qualify for $354 million in federal aid if passed by Albany and the City Council by March 31. Mr. Silver has said he would not support it unless it includes rebates for low-income drivers.

According to the hearing announcement, the assembly members will "seek information on the specific details associated with the proposed projects contained in the plan as well as the funding of the plan. This hearing will also provide an opportunity for the Committees to examine the other components of the plan, such as how a congestion mitigation plan and its consequences are addressed."

The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Meeting Hall, 42 W. 44th St. (bet. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 2nd Floor, in Manhattan.

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