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

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 has
proposed will do what is necessary and that is provide a stable
inflation link source of funds adequate for the MTA to keep the fares
from jumping up dramatically and to be not be faced with this issue
every few months," Bloomberg told reporters (including the DN’s Kate
Lucadamo) during a Q&A in the Bronx this morning.

"…I’m a little bit bothered by a proposal that would put a
taxi fare surcharge on here in the city to build roads upstate," the
mayor continued. "New York City already sends more money to Albany than
we get back, we are fundamentally the economic engine of the state and
we 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 the
formula for every different place, it leads to a piece of legislation
that 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.


Bloomberg Says There’s No Reason Pricing Shouldn’t Pass

Mayor Bloomberg (far, far background) at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton this morning It’s now or never for congestion pricing, the MTA, and maybe even the city itself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning. Speaking before a sold-out crowd at the Battery Park City Ritz-Carlton, Bloomberg and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters were the guests […]

MTA Blame Game: Lowlights From Queens

The MTA roadshow is in full swing, with raucous public hearings on service cuts drawing hundreds in Queens and Staten Island last night. Some press outlets are questioning whether the hearings actually get anything accomplished. It’s a good question to chew on, since the MTA Board’s options are limited by the agency’s massive budget gap. […]