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.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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, […]

Congestion Panel to Recommend Abbreviated Pricing Plan

|
Today’s the day. The Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission is expected to sign off on a condensed version of the Bloomberg administration’s original pricing proposal today, one with a northern boundary of 60th Street (rather than 86th) and no charges for trips that begin within Manhattan’s Central Business District. Higher parking rates and a taxi surcharge […]

Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission Opens for Business

|
Westchester Assembly member Richard Brodsky on Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal: "My problem is that I don’t understand what you’ve proposed." "This is going to be interesting," Straphangers Campaign Senior Staff Attorney Gene Russianoff said as he waited for the start of yesterday’s inaugural Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission meeting. "Usually with these things, the fix […]

Pricing is Alive. JFK Rail Link and SMART Fund May be Dead.

|
Annie Karni reports in today’s New York Sun that the outlines of a congestion pricing bill may be hammered out in Albany before Memorial Day, though not exactly as Mayor Bloomberg initially proposed. Karni writes that MTA executive director Lee Sander would prefer to see the $3.75 billion earmarked for a direct rail link from […]

Denny Farrell: Less Traffic and Pollution? No Thanks.

|
Just two of the 17 members of the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, Assemblymen Richard Brodsky and Herman “Denny” Farrell, voted against the revised congestion pricing plan that now awaits approval by the City Council and state legislators, all of which must happen by March 31 if the city is to receive $354 million in federal […]