With Vehicle Congestion Pricing Imminent, On Horizon Is Total Congestion Pricing
By Lipra Loof, Special STAFF REPORTER to SNCA | April 1, 2019
New York City Mayor Bill de Blassio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, have come together to support a congestion fee for all vehicles entering Manhattan from the Battery to 60th Street. As controversial as that idea is, the next proposal may be considered drastic and have some citizens scratching their heads.
Total Congestion Pricing – a plan to charge anyone entering any part of Manhattan has arrived. The proposal is being hailed by some as a courageous and innovative way to further reduce Manhattan’s congestion.
This plan would see the city charge a fixed fee to enter Manhattan via bus, train, bicycle and even walking.
Last night at a news conference alongside city and state officials, Mr. de Blassio and Mr. Cuomo unveiled the plan.
The city and state chiefs who rarely see eye to eye, said in unison, “We were not originally on board for the vehicle congestion pricing. But car-hating special interest groups and the MTA with their constant need for money have forced our hand and we had to cave in. After the vehicle congestion pricing plan gets finalized and hopefully passed by the state legislature, we will try and institute this bigger and bolder plan to rid our streets of all congestion.”
The governor and mayor continued, “We can completely eliminate congestion by removing the main cause of congestion- the people.”
“If people don’t want to pay a fee to be here, then we’ll have no people in the city and we will have solved the congestion issue once and for all,” Mr. de Blassio enthused.
Deputy Mayor Paul Frehley said “Putting an eight dollar fee on drivers, is okay for starters. We all know that fee will keep increasing, but it won’t rise fast enough to cover increasing costs. Hopefully by 2025 we can raise the vehicle congestion fee up to around $20.”
It is acknowledged by many politicians that instituting vehicle congestion fees will be not raise enough money to cover the ever-rising city budget. Even with additional new plastic bag taxes, sugary drink taxes and other proposed taxes, there will never be enough regressive taxes on New Yorkers to fill the city’s bottomless coffers.
The Real Problem Is…
“We see Total Congestion Pricing as a solution to the overcrowded streets issue,” explained Transportation Director Peter Criscuola. “People are the problem and the cause of all this congestion we have in Manhattan. And if you live or work here, you can obviously afford to pay to be here.”
Frehley then elaborated, “The way the city spends and wastes money, additional fees are always a necessity. We plan on charging $10 to anyone entering Manhattan. This steady stream of income would be extracted from all pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit commuters. We want to be fair and equitable by charging everyone the same amount.”
When asked how the city would enforce and collect money from citizens, Criscuola replied that there are preliminary plans being drawn up to solve that.
“We are exploring every possibility, beginning with barriers and gates at all possible entry points. Somebody, I think he was at the federal level, suggested a giant wall be built to surround the entire island of Manhattan. We are even looking at the possibility of chip implants directly into citizens so they quickly go through at fee zone entrances without having to open their wallets.”
State Senator Stanley Eisen, who is trying to secure the passage of vehicular congestion pricing in the state legislature, said he is unsure about Total Congestion Pricing. “I am a politician and have to sway with the wind.”
Eisen had some questions, “How can we charge ordinary citizens money just for showing up at their jobs if they work in Manhattan? What about people living in Manhattan? Can we charge them as well? I guess they would be considered inmates if those inside the total congestion zone refuse to pay the fee.”
The plan has the endorsement of such high profile New Yorkers such as Bernie Madoff who is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence for fraud. “Why if I was free. I’d be willing to pay $100 a day for the privilege of living and working in Manhattan. That is a bargain,” Madoff exclaimed. And you know what? If you can’t afford the fee, then you should get out and stay out of New York.”
Critics of the plan said it is far from certain Total Congestion Pricing will win approval in Albany.
Ordinary workers were also skeptical. Chaim Witz, a handyman for Kiss & Co. on East 31st Street said, “How am I going to afford to come to work? I already have to pay for two buses and a subway coming from Queens. Driving will soon be too expensive. Is this how the city treats the working man?”
Apparently it is, as the city and state government have shown time and again.
If the city collects $200 billion in revenue, they will find a way to spend at least $201 billion. And you can be sure costs will keep increasing every year and new and sillier taxes will be foisted upon the gullible public.
By the way. What’s today’s date?