RPA commends Governor Cuomo on taking important first steps to fix New York’s joint problems of deteriorating subway service and crippling congestion in midtown. The recommendations from the Governor’s Fix NYC panel are bold and forward-thinking.
We encourage the Governor to include funding for this plan in his 2019 budget and to work with the Legislature to move swiftly to advance the plan in its entirety.
The Fix NYC Advisory Panel Recommends a 3 Phased Approach for Implementation
Phase 1: Increase Mobility through investments in outer borough and suburban transit, as well as reducing traffic violations in Manhattan
Phase 2: Raise revenue through a surcharge on FHVs and Taxis
Phase 3: Implement a charge first on trucks, then on drivers to enter the most congested parts of Manhattan, this would include a cordon at 60th Street, but exempt drivers who stay on the FDR, and provide a credit for drivers who have paid a toll to enter via the Queens-Midtown, Hugh L. Carey, Holland and Lincoln Tunnels
A few specific highlights from the Fix NYC Advisory Panel Report:
- The plan calls for revenues from the program to go directly to the MTA to provide a meaningful and dedicated stream of ongoing funding to help fix and modernize our subway systems.
- The plan has a number of ways to reduce congestion in the midtown core, most importantly by reducing the least efficient users of the street space — private vehicles.
- The plan includes a charge all drivers entering into the Manhattan CBD including from the north, and a mechanism to credit drivers who have already paid a toll elsewhere this area. This will reduce perverse incentives for driving more to avoid a charge, but also prevent drivers from being charged more than their fair share.
- The plan, recognizing the recent growth in traffic induced by the rise of the number of trips taken in for-hire-vehicles places a surcharge on these trips, as well as taxis, liveries.
- Finally, the plan wisely calls for bolstering alternative service in the outer boros (including improving bus and subway service and exploring alternative fare structures) to ensure that there are convenient and reliable alternatives to driving. This is in line with what London did in advance of implementing a charging scheme, and it is the fair and equitable thing to do.
Read the full report here.