April 22, 2007

New York City Mayor Proposes Charging Fee for Driving Into Some Areas of Manhattan

"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made a series of Earth Day proposals this afternoon to improve the environment of New York City, including charging a new congestion fee to drivers who come into parts of Manhattan during peak hours during weekdays," the New York Times reports.

The $8 fee for autos and $21 for trucks would be charged for driving into most areas of Manhattan south of 86th St between 6 am and 6 pm. Bridge and tunnel tolls paid to get into the borough would be deducted.

“The question is not whether we want to pay, but how do we want to pay — with an increased asthma rate, with more greenhouse gases, with more wasted time, lost business and higher prices," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Or do we charge a modest fee to encourage more people to take mass transit.”

London instituted such a plan in 2003.

It makes sense to me. For those who believe in capitalism and "market forces," it's only fair that drivers start paying more of the true costs of dependence on automobiles, instead of forcing society as a whole to subsidize it.

The fee wouldn't be imposed for at least a year. It's expected to face opposition in the state legislature.

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