Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is mulling a congestion pricing plan in Manhattan, said Monday the state is capable of placing tolls anywhere in the Big Apple.
“We have the ability with technology to put tolling anywhere in the city — it’s not just the bridges, it’s just a gantry with a license plate reader that reads an EZ pass or a license plate,” he explained at an unrelated press conference.
“So we can put that anywhere. So we can be very flexible and variable so there are a lot of options.”
Cuomo said that the panel he created to study congestion pricing, called FixNYC, will call for a “zone” in Manhattan instead of tolls on the borough’s bridges. The commission will release a report with exact recommendations later this week.
“Really what you want to do is keep people out of the highly congested areas at the time of the highest congestion, and we now have the capacity to put up tolling machines on any corner, any block, to operate at any time,” Cuomo said.
“So the FixNYC commission, and I think they tend to be right, is talking about defining a zone and then charging for that zone.”
The money from the tolls would be used to inject cash into the struggling subway system, he said. Advocates of congestion pricing have said it could raise $1.5 billion a year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has opposed congestion pricing, a strategy that dates back to a decade ago when it was first proposed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s plan, which has been pushed by the Move NY advocacy group ever since, called for tolls on vehicles crossing the bridges or entering Manhattan’s central business district below 60th Street.
“I’ve never been in favor of this strategy. I’ve never seen an example of it that I thought was fair,” de Blasio said of congestion pricing last year.
De Blasio favors a “millionaires tax” to fund the MTA.