Bloomberg on Congestion Pricing as Economic Stimulus

This morning, Michael Bloomberg made the argument that congestion pricing would be good for the economy, and that without it, tens of thousands of jobs for New Yorkers “would almost certainly be dead in the water.”

Standing with labor leaders outside the turnstile at the Brooklyn Bridge train station, Bloomberg told reporters, “The jobs created by congestion pricing, in both the short- and long-term, would be a real shot in the arm for our city’s economy.”

According to the plan, money from congestion pricing goes to fund the M.T.A. capital budget, which Bloomberg said would create “tens of thousands construction-related jobs. And those jobs would be created almost immediately. We need those jobs now. Our economy is slowing down, and this would be a real boost in the arm.”

Labor leaders endorsing the plan include Stuart Applebaum of R.W.D.S.U., Ed Ott of the Central Labor Council, Ed Malloy of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

Afterwards, the mayor left to go to the opening game at Yankee stadium, where he said he would be joined by Christine Quinn. It should be noted that Bloomberg sported a Yankees jacket and refrained from making fun of Daily News reporter Adam Lisberg, who wore a Chicago Cubs baseball hat.

Bloomberg has shifted his congestion pricing pitch since he first officially proposed it as part of PlaNYC on April 22 of last year. The next day this quote, referring to the plan as a whole, appeared in The New York Times:

“Our economy is humming, our fiscal house is in order and our near-term horizon looks bright,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “If we don’t act now, when?”
Bloomberg on Congestion Pricing as Economic Stimulus