Bill Thompson on Congestion Pricing, Bloomberg's Legacy

Bill Thompson has a problem with congestion pricing.

Here’s part of the transcript from a television interview Thompson did this morning with NBC’s Jay DeDapper which will air on Sunday:

Mr. THOMPSON: I’ve got some problems with it. I mean…
DeDAPPER: Name one big problem you have.

Mr. THOMPSON: Well, how do you allow deductibility of tolls for people
coming in through the George Washington Bridge and coming in from Jersey…

DeDAPPER: Like the Holland Tunnel, right.

Mr. THOMPSON: …and Long Island, and at the same point, you say to New
Yorkers, you have to dig deeper in your pocket? You know, those are the sins of the city. I mean, I think there’s an unfairness there. So that was one of the big complaints I had before. I still have that complaint. I just think it’s unfair to New Yorkers.

Congestion pricing is the centerpiece of Michael Bloomberg’s long-term transportation plan for the city. But its passage from the City Council and the State Legislature is in question.

For people keeping score, that’s two mayoral candidates with objections to the plan (Thompson and Anthony Weiner) and one that is much more in favor of it (Christine Quinn).

DeDapper later asked whether the 2009 mayor’s race is going to be a race to see who can best replicate the third term of Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

Mr. THOMPSON: I think that, you know, people are pleased with the direction that the city has moved in in the last six years under Mayor Bloomberg. At the same point, I think everybody’s going to have to talk about what they’re going to do and do differently. I think you’re going to be able, just like Mayor Bloomberg was able to build on the past, all of us are going to be able to build on that, but also say what we’re going to do for the future of New York City.

DeDAPPER: Is his endorsement going to be as valuable as Rudy Giuliani’s was to him?

Mr. THOMPSON: Hmm, times are different. I don’t believe anybody’s
endorsement carries that much weight, usually. Would everybody like it?
Sure.