Congestion pricing: Will drivers be charged in and out of Manhattan on weekdays?

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Political reporter Dave Evans has more on the plan to thin NYC's traffic congestion.

Thursday morning in Midtown, Governor Andrew Cuomo's congestion pricing panel, called 'Fix NYC,' met for its final time and forwarded several different options and plans to the Governor-he's set to unveil his preferred plan Friday.

Congestion pricing calls for new tolls to drive through Midtown and Lower Manhattan. The money would go to create a steady funding stream for the MTA and to fix the failing subway system.

The Governor appointed the 16 member panel in October to come up with plans to implement congestion pricing. On Monday he said toll readers can be placed almost anywhere-they don't have to be on East River bridges.

Gov. Cuomo said, "You have to reduce congestion in New York City. You can't drive, you can't make the delivery. You get in a cab and in most cases you're better off walking."

As they left the governor's office, most members refused to say anything. However, one member, Fernando Ferrer, who's also Vice Chairman of the MTA, said congestion pricing is coming. Along 3rd Avenue he said, "There's no good time to do something that's bold and makes sense but look at the traffic here!"

In the past, Fix NYC has considered options such as movable tolls at 60th Street and south in Manhattan, riders in Uber cars and yellow cabs could face a new surcharge and tolls could be as high as $6 during rush hour for drivers with E-Z Pass in the restricted new zone. The panel has also considered possibilities like exempting the FDR from the new toll.

When asked about a new daily toll of $12 to go in and out of the zone , Ferrer said, "There isn't a God-given right to prevent people from going one place to another; to cruise in a taxi, to deliver at-will, to stop, block traffic, double-park and triple park. That's over!"

Mayor Mike Bloomberg was the first to propose congestion pricing in New York City but the plan faced deep opposition in Albany. Now, Governor Cuomo backs congestion pricing but he faces opponents including Mayor Bill de Blasio and lawmakers from Brooklyn and Queens.

Fix NYC panel member Katherine Wylde said, "I thought that for 11 years it's time for congestion pricing, certainly, and congestion has only gotten worse."

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traffictrafficpoliticstoll roadMidtownNew York CityManhattan
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