4/20/2008New York: Bloomberg Pushing Bridge Tolls
New York City mayor attempts to revive the congestion tax through bridge tolls.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has no intention of backing down after the New York State quietly rejected his congestion pricing tax plan. The mayor this week took the first steps in raising taxes on commuters by resurrecting proposals to place toll booths on bridges into the city that are currently free.
The New York Daily News reported that City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Deputy Mayor Mark Shaw were dispatched to advocate an $8 tax on anyone driving across East River bridges and 60th Street.
"At the end of the day, the failure on congestion pricing that occurred last month was just a setback," Shaw said.
Tolls funded the construction of many East River bridges including the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridges were more than paid off when the city dropped tolling in 1911. Anti-motorist groups including Transportation Alternatives have long advocated bringing back the toll booths as a means of taxing drivers to further subsidize city bus service. In 2003 Bloomberg set aside plans to implement bridge tolling after realizing it would fail to gain the required support in the state legislature.
"If it turns out to be a good idea at some point in time, and if it's enactable, then we should certainly consider it," Bloomberg told the New York Times in 2003.