Suggesting Changes to Bill, Citizens Union Pushes for Congestion Pricing to Pass

Citizens Union, a group that promotes government openness and transparency, is urging state lawmakers to pass congestion pricing.

But they also have some changes they’d like to see in the final bill.

Like Bill Thompson, the group wants to eliminate the discount that drivers who pay a toll prior to entering the congestion pricing zone. (Both Citizens Union and Thompson support offsetting that discount by having the Port Authority contribute $1 billion to the M.T.A.) Another recommendation C.U. has, first put forward by vocal critic Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, is an exemption for charities. They also want to require the program come up for renewal after three years, a measure being pushed by Assemblyman Jim Brennan, who introduced his own congestion pricing bill today.

When asked if the group supports passage of the senate bill in its current form, Executive Director Dick Dadey paused and said, “This is an experiment, but we don’t yet know how it might work.”

He added, “We’re comfortable in supporting the plan as it is right now, but hope that additional changes are made.”