In a lengthy interview with WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein, new Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith—the one-time innovative mayor/rising Republican star from Indianapolis—let loose some of his feelings about government’s role in managing traffic.
In short: He likes variable pricing.
In addition to giving an extensive shout-out to congestion pricing and suggesting a push for it may return—which he has done before—he voiced support for taking a similar line on other forms of transportation: namely, buses, subways and parking.
Here’s what he said, when asked about congestion pricing:
I think what the mayor tried to do with congestion pricing is not important just because it raises money. I think it’s important because it makes better use of our bridges and roads. And I think the same could apply to buses or subways or parking and the like. And when we give citizens broad signals – pricing – and they can make decisions about what’s in their best interests, that’s the way New York should run.
Variable pricing for parking is something that wouldn’t be all that hard to implement, and, in fact, the city has a few pilots going in which meters have higher prices during peak hours. Subways and buses would be much more of a leap, given that any proposed change to M.T.A. fares is inevitably met with a cacophony of criticism.