Mayor Says Congestion Pricing Fee Will Lag Inflation

The opponents of congestion pricing need look no further than the technical appendix to PlaNYC to bolster their claim that the $8 daily fee to drive into Manhattan south of 86th Street will likely be raised:

The city will ask for the power to set and raise rates, install infrastructure, acquire land as necessary to build out infrastructure, and operate and maintain the system.… In addition the city may contemplate increasing the congestion charge as this additional transportation capacity comes on line in order to encourage a greater mode shift to mass transit.

On the other hand, the report does not envision that the fee will even keep up with inflation. The report hypothesizes that in the year 2030, the $8 fee would be increased to $14, which, assuming annual inflation of 3.2 percent, will really be worth $7.23 in today’s dollars. (City Hall spokesman John Gallagher says that the $14 figure takes inflation into account.)