Traffic moves along 42nd Street in midtown earlier this year.

Traffic moves along 42nd Street in midtown earlier this year. Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that congestion pricing — the “idea whose time has come,” according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — is now the idea that’s stuck in a political jam.

But it’s imperative that Albany clear the road for a comprehensive congestion pricing plan. State lawmakers don’t have to approve all of the pieces now. But they should create a strong enough foundation so the rest can follow. In the forthcoming budget, lawmakers should approve a surcharge on for-hire vehicles. The Assembly’s proposal needs tinkering; it treats companies like Uber and Lyft differently than yellow and green cabs. That’s an absurd distinction. The surcharge should be the same for all, with the revenue directed to fund improvements and repairs to public transit. A larger pot of money, even if some is dedicated to subways and city buses, will help all parts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including the Long Island Rail Road.

Lawmakers should not stop there. They should include initial funding — around $200 million — for environmental impact studies and infrastructure to allow the state to charge personal vehicles to drive into Manhattan’s central business district, defined as below 60th Street. And the governor and state lawmakers should allow the city to add more traffic enforcement cameras, too.

Cuomo has said frustratingly little about congestion pricing since his big pronouncement last summer. To make congestion pricing a reality, he and other state leaders have to be steadfast advocates for its key elements: a central business district fee structure and lower outer borough bridge tolls. These changes are the only way to get us moving. Don’t slow down now.