"Please, no matter what you do, do not call it 'Sam's congestion pricing plan,'" pleaded transportation engineer Sam Schwartz today to a Municipal Art Society conference at Jazz at Lincoln Center. "It is more than congestion pricing."
What is it?
"It's more a master plan for the City of New York that is evolving."
M.T.A. chief Joe Lhota said today that he wishes the candidates vying to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014 would talk about mass transit, and how to pay for it.
(Gridlock) Sam Schwartz, the former city traffic commissioner and current congrestion-pricing evangelist, has for a while now been making the rounds of the New York establishment, pitching a new plan to place tolls on the free East River bridges.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has not taken the subway since being elected to his current office.
"Um, the last time has been before I've been governor," said Cuomo, in response to a question about the last time he took the subway and what his experience was like. "Look, our subway service, our bus service is a tremendous asset for this city and the state. It works extraordinarily well. It's a great investment. It's one that we want to continue and grow. We can always make it safer. We can always make it faster. We can always make it cleaner. But it's a great service."
Late last month, M.T.A. chairman Joe Lhota told a room full of construction and real estate executives that the pressing question of how best to fund mass transit in New York City would play a big role in the upcoming race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.
“I do believe that people are focused on this,” he said. “It’ll probably be a very big item during the mayoral race next year.”(3)
Transportation guru Sam Schwartz has been making the rounds with a presentation outlining a new congestion-pricing scheme, one that proposes tolling cross-Hudson bridges and pumping much of the resulting revenue into New York City's ailing mass-transit system.(3)
Transportation wonks call for an extension of Sadik-Khanism after Bloomberg, still want congestion pricing
“We can’t lose this momentum in two years when there’s a new mayor,” Schwartz said. “We’ve got to keep it going, so it’s important for all of you to know that lesson.”