New York, New York – A plan proposed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to establish a “congestion zone” charge has failed to be taken to the floor for a vote in the New York State Assembly. Bloomberg said that the plan’s failure will cost the city nearly $500 million for mass transit improvements annually and $354 million in immediate federal funds (all prices U.S.).
Under the plan, motorists entering the “congestion zone” south of 60th Street in Manhattan would have paid $8 for inbound weekday trips between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., while trucks would be charged $21 for conventional vehicles and $7 for low-emission trucks.
The plan was supported by the mayor, the New York City Council and the New York governor, as well as various community and environmental groups. Bloomberg called the plan “a market-based solution to unsnarling the traffic tie-ups that sap $13 billion a year from our regional economy and foul the air we breathe.” The charges were to have been used to create a dedicated fund for mass transit improvements.
The congestion charge was one of 127 proposals of PlaNYC, an agenda to reduce the city’s carbon footprint; Bloomberg said he will continue to push forward on the other proposals, including one to plant one million trees and introduce hybrid taxis, which will not require approval at other levels of government.