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Bridge Tolls

Bloomberg Slams Senate MTA Plan, Says Tolls Must Be Part of the Mix

2:12 PM EDT on April 23, 2009

Just days after saying he would keep his MTA rescue advocacy efforts behind the scenes, Mayor Bloomberg today criticized the Senate's latest toll-free plan. The Daily Politics has quotes from a morning Q&A session:

"I spoke to Dick Ravitch again this morning - just a few minutes ago -he does not believe that the current plan that the Albany Senate hasproposed will do what is necessary and that is provide a stableinflation link source of funds adequate for the MTA to keep the faresfrom jumping up dramatically and to be not be faced with this issueevery few months," Bloomberg told reporters (including the DN's KateLucadamo) during a Q&A in the Bronx this morning.

"...I’m a little bit bothered by a proposal that would put ataxi fare surcharge on here in the city to build roads upstate," themayor continued. "New York City already sends more money to Albany thanwe get back, we are fundamentally the economic engine of the state andwe subsidize it."

Liz Benjamin writes that Bloomberg "thinks the best plan of action would be to go back to square one" -- the original Ravitch proposal -- but that he could get behind Sheldon Silver's version, which also includes tolls on East River bridges.

"It is going to have to be something along those lines. And these compromises where they keep trying to get votes by changing theformula for every different place, it leads to a piece of legislationthat doesn’t really accomplish what we want."

The Senate bill was introduced yesterday. It's not clear where Majority Leader Malcolm Smith plans to get the votes to pass it.

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