City Gets $354 Million, With Strings Attached

The city is getting $354 million from the federal government to ease congestion pricing, federal transportation officials announced today, instead of the $500 million Michael Bloomberg was hoping to get.

$1.6 million will be made available immediately and the balance is contingent on the state approving a plan within 90 days of the start of their legislative session, according to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, who briefed reporters.

The money is not tied specifically to congestion pricing, but rather to the performance goals Bloomberg said could be achieved from congestion pricing. Federal officials did say they thought it would be difficult to reach the same goals without enacting congesting pricing.

They also said the recent train shutdowns following the storm last week did not impact their decision.

Local opponents of congestion pricing, meanwhile, preempted the announcement by saying, effectively, that they don’t care.

Walter McCaffrey of the Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free sent out a statement saying, “The fact remains that the overall congestion tax and vehicle surveillance plan still can — and should — be derailed by the various legislatures if its proponents fail to prove the plan will not cause our citizens, especially those so vigorously opposed in the outer boroughs, an onerous expense and disruption.”