By exempting motorists who live in the five boroughs, Liu's plan would not solve the city's transit funding problems — the next MTA capital program will still have a gaping hole. (Compare Liu's $410 million to the $2.8 billion projected net revenue from the Sam Schwartz plan.) While Liu suggested devoting revenue to "infrastructure," he also mentioned that it could be used for "offsetting increased city contributions to the MTA," which might just lead to tolls that pad other areas of the city budget.It's somewhat baffling why Liu would propose a non-starter like this. Exempting millions of motorists negates the value of tolls as a tool to meaningfully reduce congestion, and it undermines the notion that motorists should pay for using roads. Let's hope this idea doesn't infect the other campaigns.I guess it's good to hear someone talking about tolling the bridges at all, which is necessary. But this is not the way to do it.
The Sam Schwartz plan now being advocated by MoveNY has a lot of sensible features. This is a plan that officials should get behind. But the keys to implementing any such plan lies in Albany. And we also need action from Albany to bring back the commuter tax if we're to have any hope of adequately funding our infrastructure needs.