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Congestion Pricing

Kheel to Push Free Transit Pricing Plan in ’09 Mayoral Race

2:22 PM EDT on April 21, 2008

As former deputy mayor and Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission Chair Marc Shaw predicts that congestion pricing may re-emerge soon in the form a proposal to toll 60th Street and the East River bridges, the Daily Politics reports that Ted Kheel is planning to put up $1 million to promote his free transit plan heading into the 2009 mayoral election.

"If I was half my age, I would run for mayor in 2009 on the issue,"said the 93-year-old Kheel, who has already met with what a spokesmandescribed as "one serious mayoral contender who showed interest in thefree transit idea," although he declined to reveal which would-becandidate that was.

Kheel plans a multifaceted campaign to keep congestion pricing in thenews that will include advertising and coalition building. No furtherdetails were immediately available.

"I now see free mass transit as the key to the resolution of trafficcongestion, a problem cities throughout the world face, I am nowprepared to spend an additional million dollars to save the city I wasborn in from choking on automobiles."

The Kheel plan would double the proposed congestion charge for private autos to $16 ($32 for trucks) and eliminate transit fares.

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