In today’s editorial pages, the New York Times aptly notes that our mass transit system is the backbone of our economy and calls on Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to get behind the Move NY Fair Plan as a means to fill the looming $15 billion budget gap in the MTA’s 5-Year Capital Plan. For, as the New York Times notes, “when the city’s economy suffers, so does the entire state.”
“Mayor Bill de Blasio can play a positive role. He can increase the city’s annual contribution to the M.T.A., but equally important, he can try to persuade state legislators who represent the city to get behind what is plainly an imaginative and equitable plan to support the city’s troubled mass transit system.
Still, it is the governor who has the most authority to build the necessary consensus among state lawmakers. The subway is not a trivial or parochial matter. As Mitchell Moss of New York University told The Times recently, mass transit is now ‘the way people organize their lives.’”
The Move NY Fair Plan charges more where there’s more traffic and better transit options, and lowers tolls on all other MTA bridges. Tolls will be reduced by up to 48% on all MTA bridges; crossing into and out of Manhattan’s Central Business District, whether on a bridge or at 60th Street, will be tolled at the same rate as the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
“This rebalancing,” writes the Times, “is sensible and fair.”
What’s been described by Queens City Councilmember Mark Weprin as the plan for the “outer boroughs,” the rebalancing of tolls will have significant benefits to those straddled with fees on the Verrazano, RFK (Triborough), Throg’s Neck, and Whitestone Bridges by reducing tolls by up to 48%.
Here’s the breakdown:
Crossing Toll as of March 22 Move NY proposal % reduction
RFK-Triborough $5.54 $3.04 45%
Bronx-Whitestone $5.54 $3.04 45%
Throgs Neck $5.54 $3.04 45%
Verrazano-Narrows $11.08 $6.08 45%
Marine Parkway $2.08 $1.08 48%
Cross Bay $2.08 $1.08 48%
Henry Hudson $2.54 $1.54 39%
Tolls shown are for E-ZPass. The Move NY Fair Plan calls for the same reduction amounts for cash payers.
“Broad political support for Move NY appears to be growing, as everyday commuters realize that money is tight and that a system where some pay and others don’t is fundamentally lopsided. Federal money is flat, at best. Fares from subway users, who suffer stalled trains and weekend outages, are already high enough. And an increase in the gas tax, another option, has powerful opponents in Albany.”
The clock continues to tick, as the 2015 legislative session draws to a close. The time to fully fund the MTA’s 5-Year Capital Plan is now. Not later. And the Move NY Plan, which will raise enough revenue to fill the $15 billion gap, is the answer to our city’s economic stability and our ability to move faster, safer, and fairer throughout the metropolitan region.
Let your elected officials know you want them to support the Move NY Fair Plan by clicking here.