Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson appealed to enterprise leaders to assist get congestion pricing handed in Albany — warning of financial smash if New York doesn’t repair its crumbling subways.
“The subway is the lifeblood of our financial system, and our failure to deal with this disaster might actually be our undoing,” Johnson mentioned in a speech Tuesday to the Affiliation for a Higher New York.
The newly-elected speaker made his strongest pitch but for a congestion price to drive into Manhattan — a place that places him at odds with Mayor de Blasio, who lengthy opposed the concept and stays skeptical.
“We’d like congestion pricing — this yr, this legislative session,” Johnson mentioned.
A panel fashioned by Gov. Cuomo has proposed charging drivers $11.52 to enter Manhattan under 60th St. — which might elevate $1.5 billion a yr to enhance delay-plagued subways and buses.
The plan should be authorized by the state legislature. Johnson advised the lodge ballroom stuffed with enterprise honchos they need to pitch in to make that occur.
“I would like your assist. We have to persuade the state legislature that congestion pricing is the proper factor to do, that totally funding the MTA is the proper factor to do,” he mentioned.
“Virtually on daily basis all of us who experience the subway endure dangerously packed stations, inaudible bulletins, phantom sick passengers, and ‘practice visitors forward.’ However the system has now really reached its breaking level, and this shouldn’t come as a shock. The subway alerts we use immediately have been put in when FDR was president.”
The Council expects to go a house rule message supporting congestion pricing to ship to Albany, Johnson advised reporters after the speech, although it’s unclear when that may occur.
De Blasio, who lengthy opposed charging drivers, has warmed a bit to the concept since Cuomo’s Repair NYC panel launched its proposal, calling it an enchancment over previous plans. However he nonetheless says he’s not satisfied.
Johnson declined to criticize the mayor’s stance, however predicted he’ll come round.
“I believe his language has modified a little bit bit,” the speaker advised reporters. “He modified his rhetoric, and I hope ultimately he’ll get there.”