Quinn Sells Congestion Pricing With Outrage Over M.T.A.

 

At a press conference just now in City Hall, a reporter asked Christine Quinn if the M.T.A.‘s postponement of promised service improvements impacts the chances of getting City Council members to vote for congestion pricing.

Quinn, a major supporter of the mayor’s plan for traffic reduction, said, “I think it is outrageous that a fair increase which I opposed was put in place with a commitment for program enhancements, that a speech was given where program enhancements were touted, and then seemingly, weeks later, that all vanished.”

Standing next to Bill de Blasio, who is undecided on congestion pricing, Quinn went on to say, “To me, this is a strong reason why we need congestion pricing. It’s a reason why we need a separate, sustainable revenue stream targeted at capitol expansion of mass transit in the City of New York. Because we need that money to go somewhere separate where the M.T.A. Board is not the final and only authority over it.” (She was likely making a reference to the "lockbox" component of the congestion pricing plan, which supporters say would dedicate money raised from the fees to improving mass transit.)

Later, Quinn said she was “optimistic” that congestion pricing will get approval from a majority of Council members.

UPDATE: Cory Bearak from the lobbying group Committee To Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free emailed this:

“The MTA action clearly supports our view that all that is being promised is not guaranteed. And it is obvious that the Speaker’s Office does not have the votes on congestion pricing which is why they did not act today.”