Position Statement on the Move NY Fair Tolling Plan Proposal
Of particular interest to the Chapter is the proposal for the Move NY Fair Plan to institute fares for entering Manhattan’s central business district and to substantially change the method for tolling the City’s major bridges.
The Move NY Fair Plan was first proposed by Sam Schwartz, P.E., a former Commissioner at NYC Department of Transportation and now the C.E.O. of Sam Schwartz Engineering. The plan is now championed by a coalition of sixty-five local community organizations, unions and businesses.
The goal of the plan is to raise much needed funding for transportation and transit projects in an era where traditional funding sources are dwindling while transit ridership and traffic congestion are at all time highs. The major elements of the plan are to establish tolls for vehicles entering the “central business district” of Manhattan (defined as the area south of 60th Street); establish tolls for the city-owned East River crossings and to lower the tolls on certain MTA-owned bridges.
The intent is to eliminate the current situation where local streets and non-toll bridges, such as the Brooklyn and Manhattan, experience traffic volumes at or over capacity while larger and wider toll bridges with approach ramps from high-capacity expressways, such as the RFK (formerly the Triborough) are relatively underutilized. It would be hard to say that any of the City’s major highways and bridges are underutilized, but it can be argued that the local streets and free bridges carry a disproportionate share of the total. The other main objective is to rectify economic inequities inherent in the current fare system, hence the name “Fair” Plan.