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Cuomo eyes congestion pricing charges to enter NYC

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in an undated image.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in an undated image. Photo Credit: John Roca

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed Monday he is considering charging motorists more to enter Manhattan at peak times to curb traffic and raise much-needed funds for the city’s mass transit system.

The announcement regarding congestion pricing follows internal discussions reported by Newsday on Aug. 8.

“Congestion pricing is an idea whose time has come,” Cuomo told The New York Times in a story published Monday.

There was no immediate comment Monday from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Cuomo is considering making congestion pricing part of his 2018-19 state budget proposal in January. If he inserts the measure into his budget, he has significant leverage over the legislature, which had defeated the idea in 2008 when proposed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s plan would have charged $8 per vehicle to enter Manhattan at specific peak periods through certain entries.

“The last thing suburban voters in the Hudson Valley and Long Island need is another tax,” Dutchess County Executive Mark Molinaro, told Gannett’s LoHud.com on Monday.

Cuomo’s revived idea continues to be opposed by leaders in the outer boroughs and in the state Senate and Assembly.

Cuomo is considering the idea after Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a new tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay for long-delayed and much-needed repair and maintenance on subways and the Long Island Rail Road.

The idea from de Blasio, with whom Cuomo has long feuded, has some growing support among Democrats in Albany. Cuomo said the mass transit system needs short-term and long-term funding solutions.

“Before making comment, the County will await the details and approval of the State legislation,” said Deputy Nassau County Executive Ed Ward. “In the meantime we are researching the effects it may have on Nassau County and the motorists who use roads and bridges into New York City.”

Congestion pricing is established in several cities worldwide, including London, Singapore and Stockholm.

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