M.T.A. Chief Warms to Congestion Pricing

The Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority spoke warmly of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan this morning, calling it “an extremely valuable contributor to the M.T.A. capital program,” though he stopped short of endorsing it.

“It is viable and can be made to work,” Elliot (Lee) Sander said at a breakfast sponsored by Crain’s New York Business newspaper.

He warned, though, that the M.T.A. would have to beef up the transit system in order to accommodate the increase in mass transit ridership.

“It could not happen overnight,” he said.

David Weprin, a Queens City Council Member and opponent of congestion pricing who was in the audience at the New York Hilton, took that comment as a bad sign.

“It sounds like they are not ready and that is a real problem,” he said.