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Just now, P3F said:

Which just goes to show that your point about a free route "still existing" is simply a distraction and farce.

There's plenty of regular (non-upper class) people who:

- Don't work in Manhattan.

- Work in Manhattan, and use the transit system to get to and from work.

who still need to drive from (geographic) Long Island to elsewhere, and for whom $11.52 is a significant sum of money to pay just to get from one place to another, as it would be for most transit users.

 The attitude that "the only people affected by congestion pricing can pay it without taking a hit" is ridiculous and out of touch with reality. Transit is (mostly) great if your destination is in Manhattan, and sometimes good if it isn't. There are many cases where taking transit is just a significant waste of time when compared to driving, and other cases when it's not even cheaper (heard of LIRR, MNRR, and NJT fares?)

A few things. First of all, the $11.52 figure you're throwing around would only apply at peak times; during the off peak (when most non-commutation travel is taking place), the fee would be less. 

Then there's the issue of tolls. Anyone going from LI to NJ already shells out the big bucks for passage through PANYNJ (and MTA if via VZ) crossings. If you actually take time to read the proposals at hand, you'd see that those sums would be (under many plans) deducted from the overall congestion fee, meaning the additional cost of a passage through Manhattan to NJ via the Brooklyn Bridge and Holland tunnel with an 8.50 congestion fee would be zero, as the Holland already charges drivers 10.50. Really the only trips, then, that would suffer much impact are those to the Bronx (most Manh-Bx bridges aren't tolled)--trips that can conveniently be taken on the FDR.

Just now, P3F said:

Let's say we institute a new daily $11.52 tax applicable to anyone living within walking distance of the upper Culver line. It wasn't there when you moved in? Doesn't matter; there's always an expectation that the situation can change. You chose to live in that area, and it's not exactly poverty central. So you can pay it. Don't like it? Well, "feeling bad" is not a good enough reason to not make you pay that cost.

 The issue lies with the fact that something that was once free would become quite expensive. If I wanted to pay 3 or 4 subway fares just for going or leaving home, I'd have moved to Staten Island. But Brooklyn, Queens, and LI have historically had free options, and taking that away is indeed quite regressive.

What this sort of argument misses (beyond the above) is that there's more to this than just those being negatively affected. What about those whose time/money is being wasted sitting in traffic on a bus? Do they not matter? What about those who suffer from asthma (hi!) whose condition is aggravated by constant and intense vehicular pollution? You can furnish the rest here, but I think you see my point. There are winners and losers in everything, and sometimes we have to accept -- to use RM's words -- that it's impossible to make an omelette without breaking an egg. 

The Culver analogy, while entertaining, breaks down in that (AFAIK) living along Culver doesn't have a significant and negative effect on regional wellbeing. Driving through the core at rush hour, however...

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12 minutes ago, RR503 said:

What this sort of argument misses (beyond the above) is that there's more to this than just those being negatively affected.

If Manhattan residents are exempt from the charge, then I guess they are positively affected, right? 

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What about those whose time/money is being wasted sitting in traffic on a bus? Do they not matter?

If the traffic isn't in Manhattan, then congestion pricing won't help them.

If the traffic is in Manhattan, then they are being delayed much more by TLC (Cab/Uber/Lyft) vehicles than regular drivers. Have you even bothered looking at license plates in the city? The majority of cars driving around in Manhattan aren't somebody's daily driver. Helpful hint: If the license plate number starts with T and ends with C, it's a for-hire vehicle of some sort.

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What about those who suffer from asthma (hi!) whose condition is aggravated by constant and intense vehicular pollution?

Well I'm sorry about your condition, but congestion pricing isn't going to reduce overall vehicular pollution to an extent that will have a noticeable impact. Locally it might: Manhattan might have slightly less pollution and SI will likely have slightly more. This isn't even a real point to be argued, though. The efforts that actually reduce pollution include car emissions standards as well as the shift towards electric (and hybrid) vehicles. And have you heard about how much diesel buses pollute?

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You can furnish the rest here, but I think you see my point. There are winners and losers in everything, and sometimes we have to accept -- to use RM's words -- that it's impossible to make an omelette without breaking an egg. 

The issue is, that congestion pricing isn't going to solve anything. The (MTA) and Cuomo will find a way to ensure the money isn't spent wisely, and it also provides a layer of protection for them to not reform their own practices. The (MTA) is in the hole much more than $832 million or whatever congestion pricing is slated to generate. So essentially, it's a regressive tax with no discernible benefit. It's like breaking 320 eggs, accidentally spilling 16 into a drain, and then breaking another egg to cover for what those 16 were supposed to provide.

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A few things. First of all, the $11.52 figure you're throwing around would only apply at peak times; during the off peak (when most non-commutation travel is taking place), the fee would be less. 

Then there's the issue of tolls. Anyone going from LI to NJ already shells out the big bucks for passage through PANYNJ (and MTA if via VZ) crossings. If you actually take time to read the proposals at hand, you'd see that those sums would be (under many plans) deducted from the overall congestion fee, meaning the additional cost of a passage through Manhattan to NJ via the Brooklyn Bridge and Holland tunnel with an 8.50 congestion fee would be zero, as the Holland already charges drivers 10.50. Really the only trips, then, that would suffer much impact are those to the Bronx (most Manh-Bx bridges aren't tolled)--trips that can conveniently be taken on the FDR.

It's hard to keep up with which proposal is the current one, seeing that there are various ones posted in various places, but from what I recall, PANYNJ tolls were not slated to be included towards the congestion fee. In general, it is disappointing how disorganized and uncoordinated communication of the actual plan is.

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Just now, P3F said:

If Manhattan residents are exempt from the charge, then I guess they are positively affected, right? 

Oh good lord. If Manhattan residents so much as step foot on a bus in <60th St (or on any bus that transits that area), they're positively affected. 

Just now, P3F said:

If the traffic isn't in Manhattan, then congestion pricing won't help them.

If the traffic is in Manhattan, then they are being delayed much more by TLC (Cab/Uber/Lyft) vehicles than regular drivers. Have you even bothered looking at license plates in the city? The majority of cars driving around in Manhattan aren't somebody's daily driver. Helpful hint: If the license plate number starts with T and ends with C, it's a for-hire vehicle of some sort.

TLC is part of the issue. It is not the whole issue. And oh, look at that, pricing TLC (at a higher rate than that of general traffic) is a *big* part of most congestion pricing proposals. 

Just now, P3F said:

Well I'm sorry about your condition, but congestion pricing isn't going to reduce overall vehicular pollution to an extent that will have a noticeable impact. Locally it might: Manhattan might have slightly less pollution and SI will likely have slightly more. This isn't even a real point to be argued, though. The efforts that actually reduce pollution include car emissions standards as well as the shift towards electric (and hybrid) vehicles. And have you heard about how much diesel buses pollute?

This is like when people think the way to solve emissions is give everyone a Tesla. No. If we're talking long term strategies for solving emissions, the way to go is to discourage car use and direct as much funding as is possible towards the development of public transit. It's an objective truth that mass transit is more efficient than the private automobile...which is a reality that CP helps us acknowledge. The fact of the matter is that the people who will be most impacted by CP charges are daily core-bound commuters, as travel through the core is generally discretionary (and thus less frequent) in nature. Those core-bound commuters are, by and large, blessed with options, and will be further thus if CP proposals' corollary that transit must be expanded in access-poor areas is properly executed (this, btw, is what I see as being most integral to most CP plans). Moving them out of their cars and onto trains/buses is a win for us all. 

Also: diesel buses are bad, yes. But they're a hell of a lot more efficient than having those 70 odd people drive alone. 

Just now, P3F said:

The issue is, that congestion pricing isn't going to solve anything. The (MTA) and Cuomo will find a way to ensure the money isn't spent wisely, and it also provides a layer of protection for them to not reform their own practices. The (MTA) is in the hole much more than $832 million or whatever congestion pricing is slated to generate. So essentially, it's a regressive tax with no discernible benefit. It's like breaking 320 eggs, accidentally spilling 16 into a drain, and then breaking another egg to cover for what those 16 were supposed to provide.

That's a critique of MTA policy, not of CP. Again, the primary benefit of CP is capping/reducing the dramatic increase in VMTs in the urban core. Secondary to that are its implications on transit funding. I completely agree with you (and I mean this sincerely) that CP is in no way a panacea for the MTA's issues or indeed those of the city at large. But it sure as hell helps--provided that it is properly executed, which again, needs to be discussed in parallel to this, but should not be posed as an objection. 

Just a few stats for some color: congestion pricing will costs drivers what, you say a billion a year? Okay, well congestion itself costs NYC 20. I by no means think that CP will bring all those dollars back (or even anything near a majority) but if even 10% of the cost is killed, we're achieving a 200% rate of return on investment. 

Just now, P3F said:

It's hard to keep up with which proposal is the current one, seeing that there are various ones posted in various places, but from what I recall, PANYNJ tolls were not slated to be included towards the congestion fee. In general, it is disappointing how disorganized and uncoordinated communication of the actual plan is.

This seems to vary, yes. You're absolutely right in saying there needs to be better message coordination--I for one am sometimes lost. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 6:01 PM, RR503 said:

To be fair, those are TBTA properties. You have a good bit of bond debt that needs to be settled before you can just take them and kill their revenue stream.

Also: if the objection here is that LI can't leave itself w/o tolls, what happened to Brooklyn Bridge to FDR to local roads in the Bx to points north/west? I daresay that satisfies your qualm, given that you say the +90 min route out of San Fran is acceptable in this regard. 

The VZ is 50 years old. The TN is 57 years old. Whitestone is 80 years old.

If TBTA hasn't paid off the 30-year construction bonds in that time, then the situation is more dire than we've been told. (As my Bronx-raised father says.)

And the FDR may be outside the zone, but I heard nothing saying the Westside Highway from the Battery to the Lincoln (and the roads connecting to the tunnels) are.

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On 12/29/2018 at 10:01 PM, RR503 said:

If you actually take time to read the proposals at hand, you'd see that those sums would be (under many plans) deducted from the overall congestion fee, meaning the additional cost of a passage through Manhattan to NJ via the Brooklyn Bridge and Holland tunnel with an 8.50 congestion fee would be zero, as the Holland already charges drivers 10.50.

No toll to NJ, so $11.52 outbound. Then inbound, it's $10.50 to go through the tunnel, then MAYBE it's free to go down Canal Street to the Manhattan, or because all these transportation agencies in NY/NJ don't coordinate anything, another $11.52. Plus the wear-and-tear and fuel burn staying stuck in traffic on Canal, the bridge, and the soon-to-be a helluva construction zone BQE.

So Dumbo and Tribeca get screwed in the Quality of Life aspect, geographic LIers get screwed on QoL and to the tune of $22-32 per day; Midtown sucks less, but (MTA) gets more money to w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ use until CP falls victim to the Laffer Curve because folks move away.

But adding 2-3¢ per dollar on soda bottles, booze and a slice at Two Bros is the regressive idea??

Heh heh.

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11 hours ago, Deucey said:

And the FDR may be outside the zone, but I heard nothing saying the Westside Highway from the Battery to the Lincoln (and the roads connecting to the tunnels) are.

They aren't. Driving through the core at rush hour = driving through the core at rush hour. FDR avoids to a certain extent, but unless you're coming from the Battery, WSH doesn't. 

11 hours ago, Deucey said:

No toll to NJ, so $11.52 outbound. Then inbound, it's $10.50 to go through the tunnel, then MAYBE it's free to go down Canal Street to the Manhattan, or because all these transportation agencies in NY/NJ don't coordinate anything, another $11.52. Plus the wear-and-tear and fuel burn staying stuck in traffic on Canal, the bridge, and the soon-to-be a helluva construction zone BQE.

One thing all of the proposals agree on is that there will be no $11.52 charge for *leaving* the core. MoveNY's proposal was to charge 5.76 for entry and exit (for a total of 11.52), but that basically amounts to the same thing. So your maximum through charge (assuming PANYNJ toll deductions, which are indeed included in the FixNYC plan) is 11.52. 

I love the concern with the 'wear and tear' of being stuck in traffic on Canal, btw. It's almost like that's something that could be reduced...but I'm crazy, right?

11 hours ago, Deucey said:

 So Dumbo and Tribeca get screwed in the Quality of Life aspect, geographic LIers get screwed on QoL and to the tune of $22-32 per day; Midtown sucks less, but (MTA) gets more money to w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ use until CP falls victim to the Laffer Curve because folks move away.

 But adding 2-3¢ per dollar on soda bottles, booze and a slice at Two Bros is the regressive idea??

Heh heh.

The maximum marginal increase is $11.52, given that peak-hour inbound tolls on NJ crossings are already higher than that. During the off peak, that increase is either 8.50 or 5.50.

I don't at all understand how this affects Tribeca beyond fewer cars transiting, but ok.

Really what we need here are some market stats. How many people are actually driving *through* the core today? What are their O/D pairs? What are their demographics? When are they driving? Without those, this conversation is a little useless, as I don't believe the negative impact*population size equation works out to be anything near comparable to the positive impact*population size, and you do. 

Once again, though, I feel I need to repeat myself: congestion pricing isn't a funding solution for transit; anyone selling it thus is wrong. Something along the lines of what you propose is infinitely better. But, AFAIK, taxing Sprite doesn't mitigate the multi-billion dollar congestion problem that we have -- something that CP does. 

Edited by RR503

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@Deucey 

I’m gonna direct this to you because you appear to be the only person that has looked at the big picture and the ramifications. The problem as I see it is twofold. These transit/urban planners are trying to accomplish a somewhat admirable goal with CP and dedicated transit funding. Problem is that they are either missing the obvious or are deliberately trying to ignore the real impact on everyone. First and foremost transit access to the core must be expanded and improved before implementing any sort of CP plan. To do what seems to be the present strategy is putting the cart before the horse, IMO. I foresee progressives and conservatives bypassing the state courts and bringing a number of suits in federal courthouses for years to come. BTW your dad is correct in that those TBTA bridges were paid for years ago. Is there anyone dumb enough to be blind to the reasoning behind the constant construction projects on certain bridges? The toll money should morally be used for bridge upkeep and not diverted to the state or the (MTA) although I’m aware of the reasoning behind the diversion. Improve the rail and bus networks first. Do a transit bond issue and put it on the ballot. If you word it so it’s legally dedicated to transit improvement only and it’s passed improve the service. Then you try CP. I don’t know how it would play out but I doubt that the (MTA) has the equipment to take a significant number of people off the road at present. Just my opinion. Carry on.

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Not to be snide, but with what money? CP is being proposed to fund a budget shortfall and allow for remedial maintenance, not to dramatically alter or extend service. How is transit going to be "expanded and improved" without a new funding source? I would advocate the millionaires' tax, but that's DOA with Cuomo in Albany. A sales tax or otherwise flat tax is inherently even more regressive than CP. CP has the added benefit of reducing traffic, which is something that taxes alone cannot be credited for doing. I would support other funding sources before CP, but the notion that there is a possibility of dramatically expanding service seems incorrect to me. Byford's plan is $40-60billion simply to restore and modestly improve service through original levels at modern capacities. Funding that has to come before any further talk of expansion, and that's part of why CP is being considered.  

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24 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

Not to be snide, but with what money? CP is being proposed to fund a budget shortfall and allow for remedial maintenance, not to dramatically alter or extend service. How is transit going to be "expanded and improved" without a new funding source? I would advocate the millionaires' tax, but that's DOA with Cuomo in Albany. A sales tax or otherwise flat tax is inherently even more regressive than CP. CP has the added benefit of reducing traffic, which is something that taxes alone cannot be credited for doing. I would support other funding sources before CP, but the notion that there is a possibility of dramatically expanding service seems incorrect to me. Byford's plan is $40-60billion simply to restore and modestly improve service through original levels at modern capacities. Funding that has to come before any further talk of expansion, and that's part of why CP is being considered.  

You are not being snide but you are indirectly pointing out what I was trying to say.  I'm saying that you have to give me something before you ask me to pay more.  If you're already having budgetary problems I'd be a damn fool to give you more money to squander without anything in return but a promise  that you'll do right by me in the future. I don't screw my head on in the morning. Been around since before the 1951 bond issue. After listening in 60+ years of BS excuse my cynicism.  Carry on.  

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People need to stop seeing CP as transit financing before anything else. That's not -- and should not be -- its purpose. CP's main goal is solving core congestion, an issue that is on track to cost the region 100 billion dollars over the next five years, and increase with time. I absolutely agree that transit improvements need to be undertaken before CP is put in place (a sin tax without an 'out' is, well, ridiculous) but you'll notice that those improvements are part of pretty much every CP program on the market out there. 

@Deucey brought up some excellent points about folks heading through the core, and CP's impact on them. I think it's an interesting discussion to have: how do we mitigate the financial burden on trips that cannot be done and never will be doable by transit (ie a family visiting a state park in NJ, or relatives in rural PA). I think you could talk about reverse-peak toll reductions/nullification on circumferential bridges (so the VZ, Tappan Zee, Whitestone etc) but I'm adamant that this discussion should not be used as a counterargument against the principle of CP in general. The trips that are car-optional absolutely should be taxed, because driving into Manhattan during rush hour incontrovertibly has an outsized impact on the health of the regional economy, and just a series of transit incentive measures won't fix that -- you have to give people the proverbial 'wake up call' to create change. 

On 1/3/2019 at 1:43 AM, Trainmaster5 said:

You are not being snide but you are indirectly pointing out what I was trying to say.  I'm saying that you have to give me something before you ask me to pay more.  If you're already having budgetary problems I'd be a damn fool to give you more money to squander without anything in return but a promise  that you'll do right by me in the future. I don't screw my head on in the morning. Been around since before the 1951 bond issue. After listening in 60+ years of BS excuse my cynicism.  Carry on.  

I most certainly agree that there needs to be give (wide ranging cost/accountability reform within the agency) along with take (more money) but I think we also have to understand that a good bit of the MTA's woe comes from its lack of a stable funding stream. It can't predict grant levels for its capital expenses, so when they're way below what MTA asked for, they have to fund it with bonds -- basically transferring the cost of improvement to the operations budget. There, too, they are basically blind to future funding conditions. Will the state chip in enough? Will the city? Will the riders? Beyond making many budgetary moves on the MTA's part extremely last minute and usually incursive of debt, that uncertainty increases the cost of making those moves. I'm sure you've noticed the plummeting bond ratings/increasing interests rates over the past few years. That cost is a direct result of there not being a stable, predictable source of transit funding in this city.

Now in this regard CP definitely helps, but 800 million is not enough. I think Deucey's plans for some sort of regionwide tax, whether it be a sales tax, an income tax surcharge, or something different, are wise. You need revenue predicated on something that is inelastic, and you need a lot of revenue. CP isn't that. 

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11 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I most certainly agree that there needs to be give (wide ranging cost/accountability reform within the agency) along with take (more money) but I think we also have to understand that a good bit of the MTA's woe comes from its lack of a stable funding stream. It can't predict grant levels for its capital expenses, so when they're way below what MTA asked for, they have to fund it with bonds -- basically transferring the cost of improvement to the operations budget. There, too, they are basically blind to future funding conditions. Will the state chip in enough? Will the city? Will the riders? Beyond making many budgetary moves on the MTA's part extremely last minute and usually incursive of debt, that uncertainty increases the cost of making those moves. I'm sure you've noticed the plummeting bond ratings/increasing interests rates over the past few years. That cost is a direct result of there not being a stable, predictable source of transit funding in this city.

Seems like (MTA) needs to hire lobbyists instead of consultants...

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On 12/31/2018 at 12:08 AM, Deucey said:

\So Dumbo and Tribeca get screwed in the Quality of Life aspect, geographic LIers get screwed on QoL and to the tune of $22-32 per day; Midtown sucks less, but (MTA) gets more money to w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ use until CP falls victim to the Laffer Curve because folks move away.

But adding 2-3¢ per dollar on soda bottles, booze and a slice at Two Bros is the regressive idea??

Heh heh.

Well, I mean, yeah, that's exactly right. Regressive doesn't just mean bad, I'm using it in the economic context: progressive taxation being when the taxable rate increases with higher income/wealth, regressive taxation being when the taxable rate does not, so lower-earning people are taxed proportionally more. Think about who lives in Dumbo and Tribeca, and about who drives into Manhattan, for that matter. We have the numbers on this, and it's not poor people. Hose 'em. The regressive model would be putting a tax on food that means the guy making $20k a year has to see a new tax on every slice of pizza that hits him proportionally much harder than the guy making $200k a year. Flat taxes are unfair, always. 

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3 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

Well, I mean, yeah, that's exactly right. Regressive doesn't just mean bad, I'm using it in the economic context: progressive taxation being when the taxable rate increases with higher income/wealth, regressive taxation being when the taxable rate does not, so lower-earning people are taxed proportionally more. Think about who lives in Dumbo and Tribeca, and about who drives into Manhattan, for that matter. We have the numbers on this, and it's not poor people. Hose 'em. The regressive model would be putting a tax on food that means the guy making $20k a year has to see a new tax on every slice of pizza that hits him proportionally much harder than the guy making $200k a year. Flat taxes are unfair, always. 

So if folks in Dumbo and Tribeca are the drivers, why's the burden fall on them disproportionately to finance the pubic transit authority they don't use? By that same justification, since New Jerseyans, Pennsylvanians and Delawareans should pay (MTA) tax as well since they're causing congestion coming through the tunnels and looking for parking.

Except CP - especially if it comes with the "You paid Port Authority" discount - will only charge folks coming from Geographic Long Island instead of the folks coming from West of the Hudson.

Whereas taxing cooked food and beverages, since those people drink and eat when they're in the City, they're ponying up loot to fund a system they're not using - just like folks who do use it.

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7 minutes ago, Deucey said:

So if folks in Dumbo and Tribeca are the drivers, why's the burden fall on them disproportionately to finance the pubic transit authority they don't use? By that same justification, since New Jerseyans, Pennsylvanians and Delawareans should pay (MTA) tax as well since they're causing congestion coming through the tunnels and looking for parking.

Except CP - especially if it comes with the "You paid Port Authority" discount - will only charge folks coming from Geographic Long Island instead of the folks coming from West of the Hudson.

Whereas taxing cooked food and beverages, since those people drink and eat when they're in the City, they're ponying up loot to fund a system they're not using - just like folks who do use it.

That's the same argument people use against all taxes. "I don't have any kids, so why am I paying for public schools?" Truth is, those residents are using, directly and indirectly, all of those services. The whole city is dependent on it. Schools, transit, fire departments, police, these are public services that incredibly beneficial to everybody in the city. Those Tribeca residents are reaping all the benefits of transit when it comes to their work, the businesses and restaurants around them, etc. Dumbo wouldn't be a full neighborhood if people couldn't take the bus and train into it. And yes, people driving into the city causing congestion should absolute have to pay an MTA tax. I agree that the boundaries should be expanded. 

There will always be something slightly indirect about the way taxes fall on people, but that's part of what makes them fair--everybody pays a part. It's a lot more fair than a regressive tax on poor people, which is what a cooked food tax is, and it has the added benefit of reducing congestion (good for everybody, rich and poor). I'm looking at the CP model and I know that I would be hit hard by this. But I use the subway a lot more than I drive--still using the Craigslist car I bought years ago--and so it's something necessary I'd be willing to pay for.

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3 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

That's the same argument people use against all taxes. "I don't have any kids, so why am I paying for public schools?" Truth is, those residents are using, directly and indirectly, all of those services. The whole city is dependent on it. Schools, transit, fire departments, police, these are public services that incredibly beneficial to everybody in the city. Those Tribeca residents are reaping all the benefits of transit when it comes to their work, the businesses and restaurants around them, etc. Dumbo wouldn't be a full neighborhood if people couldn't take the bus and train into it. And yes, people driving into the city causing congestion should absolute have to pay an MTA tax. I agree that the boundaries should be expanded. 

There will always be something slightly indirect about the way taxes fall on people, but that's part of what makes them fair--everybody pays a part. It's a lot more fair than a regressive tax on poor people, which is what a cooked food tax is, and it has the added benefit of reducing congestion (good for everybody, rich and poor). I'm looking at the CP model and I know that I would be hit hard by this. But I use the subway a lot more than I drive--still using the Craigslist car I bought years ago--and so it's something necessary I'd be willing to pay for.

It's the same argument about TAXES, not fees - which is what CP is, a fee. A fee that only affects one demographic - drivers east of the East River. Drivers. Not people without cars; not people on bikes; not pedestrians. Drivers.

So yes, it comes down to why they should disproportionately carry the burden of a system they don't use. You see them benefitting; okay, but explain how they wouldn't benefit if it were a food tax or grant-in-aid from the Legislature.

but it still comes down to one question: why should one demographic be disproportionately responsible for carrying the burden of paying a fee that'll be used to subsidize a transit system they don't use - instead of EVERYBoDY carry that burden?

That's what you're not answering.

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Just now, Deucey said:

It's the same argument about TAXES, not fees - which is what CP is, a fee. A fee that only affects one demographic - drivers east of the East River. Drivers. Not people without cars; not people on bikes; not pedestrians. Drivers.

So yes, it comes down to why they should disproportionately carry the burden of a system they don't use. You see them benefitting; okay, but explain how they wouldn't benefit if it were a food tax or grant-in-aid from the Legislature.

but it still comes down to one question: why should one demographic be disproportionately responsible for carrying the burden of paying a fee that'll be used to subsidize a transit system they don't use - instead of EVERYBoDY carry that burden?

That's what you're not answering.

I have answered this, and I keep saying this. My first point is that everybody uses the system, as the city is completely dependent on it. In the words of Obama on the trail, "you didn't build that!" That happens to be true for the entire economic engine of New York: the subway is a collective good, used by everybody. You think those drivers are just leaving their cars in Midtown and taking a nap? No, they're using all the services in the city provided by people who took the train and bus from wherever to their jobs. The subway is a massive economic engine. It's not just like some people benefit and some people don't. My second point is that your flat tax is not 'everybody' carrying the burden, but in reality some poor and middle class people carrying disproportionately more of a burden. That's not how I think taxes should work. We might just fundamentally disagree on this. I think the rich should be taxed more than the poor. That's my political belief. If you don't believe that, then sure, flat taxes make sense. Republican policymakers pretty much love them, because they ensure the wealthy get to keep proportionately more of their wealth. I don't see that as a good thing.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

I have answered this, 

Actually, you haven't. You keep replying that "everyone benefits" but you haven't said why everyone shouldn't pay for it vs only drivers.

Quote

My first point is that everybody uses the system, as the city is completely dependent on it. In the words of Obama on the trail, "you didn't build that!" That happens to be true for the entire economic engine of New York: the subway is a collective good, used by everybody.

But you still haven't said why THEY should pay rather than EVERYBODY (which would include people from NJ, PA, DE and CT).

 You think those drivers are just leaving their cars in Midtown and taking a nap? No, they're using all the services in the city provided by people who took the train and bus from wherever to their jobs.

And the people who paved the roads via taxes paid to NYS and NYC - be it income, special assessments, vehicle registration, sales tax, property tax, etc. You still haven't said  why THEY should pay rather than EVERYBODY (which would include people from NJ, PA, DE and CT).

Quote

The subway is a massive economic engine. It's not just like some people benefit and some people don't. My second point is that your flat tax is not 'everybody' carrying the burden, but in reality some poor and middle class people carrying disproportionately more of a burden. That's not how I think taxes should work. We might just fundamentally disagree on this. I think the rich should be taxed more than the poor. That's my political belief. If you don't believe that, then sure, flat taxes make sense. Republican policymakers pretty much love them, because they ensure the wealthy get to keep proportionately more of their wealth. I don't see that as a good thing.

I didn't realize the wealthy didn't eat out. HTF does nasty Peter Luger's, or those bars by Penn and GCT, stay in business?

Edited by Deucey

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I agree, the plan should involve many more drivers from out-of-state. But all of the bridges and tunnels are already tolled, and that kind of tolling is probably mired in federal regulations about interstate travel, so I doubt we'll see that proposed much more.  

Whether or not the wealthy eat out is immaterial, the point is the proportional impact on poor people is unfair. I know your argument is that they spend more on eating out, but that doesn't answer the bigger problem of people who eat out for reasons of necessity (i.e., quick meal en route to morning shift, etc), and it remains unfair. And if we're playing this game, the truly wealthy have personal chefs and staffs.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MHV9218 said:

I agree, the plan should involve many more drivers from out-of-state. But all of the bridges and tunnels are already tolled, and that kind of tolling is probably mired in federal regulations about interstate travel, so I doubt we'll see that proposed much more.  

Whether or not the wealthy eat out is immaterial, the point is the proportional impact on poor people is unfair. I know your argument is that they spend more on eating out, but that doesn't answer the bigger problem of people who eat out for reasons of necessity (i.e., quick meal en route to morning shift, etc), and it remains unfair. And if we're playing this game, the truly wealthy have personal chefs and staffs.

That's not my argument at all. My argument is that people buy cooked food, people buy sodas and bottled water, and people buy alcoholic beverages at bars or liquor stores or restaurants. So even the poor are paying the taxes on those items already. Walk up 3rd Av in the Bx - there's FOUR liquor stores between 149th and 160th.

And they order off Seamless as often as hipsters in W'Burg. And they use EZPass as well. And sometimes, they even pay retail for cigarettes or Black & Milds.

Just like those wealthy gentrifiers in Bed-Stuy and DUMBO.

And what do they all pay? Sales Tax just like you and me.

So you can stop with the "it's unfair to the poor" class warfare crap if for no other reason it's insulting. As a progressive, that's the problem with Liberalism - you infantilize the poor on one hand while screwing them on the other by going after the rich. (Or have you not figured out why all those poor non-POCs in Owsley County, Kentucky and across America keep voting for the GOP despite it making their situation worse?)

10¢ on a $5 purchase is not going to get the poor thrown out of their apartment for going to  KFC no more than an extra $1 on a $50 tab at Vega Alta. But they will see the $11.52 when they have to go to Bellevue or NYU with Grandma for her appointments. (Let's not act like there's never any parking in The Bronx or East Flatbush or Canarsie because Gentrifiers brought the cars...)

Edited by Deucey
Grammar
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I don't even follow this anymore man. The point is not even that complicated. I'm saying it's fundamentally unfair to put a flat tax on consumer goods, because it disproportionately affects people with less money. I'm not saying more than that, I'm not infantilizing, I'm not doing anything. When you write off me stating mathematical facts (like the universally, 100% agreed-upon economic reality that flat taxes are regressive) as "class warfare crap," you're revealing some serious political biases. It's already been proven that by the numbers, people driving into the city are wealthier, so you're talking exceptions and not rules when it comes to working people getting stiffed with a congestion fee.

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7 hours ago, MHV9218 said:

I don't even follow this anymore man. The point is not even that complicated. I'm saying it's fundamentally unfair to put a flat tax on consumer goods, because it disproportionately affects people with less money. I'm not saying more than that, I'm not infantilizing, I'm not doing anything. When you write off me stating mathematical facts (like the universally, 100% agreed-upon economic reality that flat taxes are regressive) as "class warfare crap," you're revealing some serious political biases. It's already been proven that by the numbers, people driving into the city are wealthier, so you're talking exceptions and not rules when it comes to working people getting stiffed with a congestion fee.

But you're not stating "mathematical facts", you're stating a preference that ignores the fact that flat taxes are already being paid by those poor people you're claiming to be advocating for. It's called sales tax.

As for "wealthier people drive into the city," that's a clever way to write off the folks with cars in Dyckman or Morrisania with cars who don't always park on 130th Street to get on the train to go to Nuyorican or any other place below 60th St for work, medical, pick-ups or entertainment.

Nah, it's just wealthy folks in DUMBO and Garden City.

And those truly wealthy you claim have personal chefs? They usually have car service transport them.

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On 1/2/2019 at 9:49 PM, Trainmaster5 said:

@Deucey 

I’m gonna direct this to you because you appear to be the only person that has looked at the big picture and the ramifications. The problem as I see it is twofold. These transit/urban planners are trying to accomplish a somewhat admirable goal with CP and dedicated transit funding. Problem is that they are either missing the obvious or are deliberately trying to ignore the real impact on everyone. First and foremost transit access to the core must be expanded and improved before implementing any sort of CP plan. To do what seems to be the present strategy is putting the cart before the horse, IMO. I foresee progressives and conservatives bypassing the state courts and bringing a number of suits in federal courthouses for years to come. BTW your dad is correct in that those TBTA bridges were paid for years ago. Is there anyone dumb enough to be blind to the reasoning behind the constant construction projects on certain bridges? The toll money should morally be used for bridge upkeep and not diverted to the state or the (MTA) although I’m aware of the reasoning behind the diversion. Improve the rail and bus networks first. Do a transit bond issue and put it on the ballot. If you word it so it’s legally dedicated to transit improvement only and it’s passed improve the service. Then you try CP. I don’t know how it would play out but I doubt that the (MTA) has the equipment to take a significant number of people off the road at present. Just my opinion. Carry on.

The problem is that we let the MTA budgetary situation get so bad.

When Bloomberg brought out congestion pricing, he trotted out a plan with the MTA, that it was going to fund free crosstown buses, express buses to Red Hook and Astoria, and a whole lot of other goodies (probably some SBS, though this was before that became mainstream). CP these days is all about funding the status quo.

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I notice no one has mentioned that transit riders already contribute far more to transit funds than any driver.

Just under 2 million people drive in the city every day. While 8.6 million people come into the city via public transit (east AND west of Hudson combined) every day, paying varying amounts of fare.

Most poor folk in NYC utilize public transportation so congestion pricing would never affect us in a truly harmful manner.

I'm personally for BOTH congestion pricing and raising the sales tax by a cent or two.

First and foremost, as @RR503 has stated, the point of congestion pricing is not to fund transit (that's a bonus), the goal is to reduce congestion. Congestion in a city whose population growth is mostly responsible for said congestion. This trend will definitely continue if we don't do something.

@Trainmaster5 has said that we should get something before asking people to give more money. Here's the issue with that. We won't get anywhere. Specifically for the reason that the MTA is terrible with money. How the 2015-19 Capital Program and Fast Forward plans have been handled should give you an idea of why this is  bad mindset. In the next 20 years, there will be 9 million living here. We should be starting NOW. Curbing driving NOW. Since, you know, change doesn't happen overnight.

I think a sales tax increase should come first. It's immediate, and your spending habits will decide how much you spend. If we tax just the city, we could double what LA County has gotten with Measures M and R. Tax the metro region, and the MTA could have dedicated, elastic funding for as long as we don't destroy ourselves.

You could even lower the fare, reducing the overall impact to the less fortunate.

Once that's in place and Fast Forward is in full swing, you then introduce CP.

This is an issue beyond our personal troubles. Every single person in this city, whether the use it or not, benefits from our transportation network. It is because of this transportation network that congestion isn't worse. It is because I transportation that this city can be as big as it is.

And it will be transportation that decides how far we go. We must do whatever we can to ensure our grandchildren can live here and live to their best. 

And for that, we must all contribute.

 

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8 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

First and foremost, as @RR503 has stated, the point of congestion pricing is not to fund transit (that's a bonus), the goal is to reduce congestion. 

A certain individual with a last name of Cuomo definitely doesn't see it that way.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2019/02/08/cuomo-mta-congestion-pricing-plan/2594681002/

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On 2/24/2019 at 11:31 AM, P3F said:

A certain individual with a last name of Cuomo definitely doesn't see it that way.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2019/02/08/cuomo-mta-congestion-pricing-plan/2594681002/

Strategy: Scare people with a 30% fare increase ultimatum to increase public support for congestion pricing.

As with School Zones and School zone speed Cameras, the actual "goal" is different than the advertised goal, the point is money first, and side affect positives afterward.

Were kids getting mowed down in school zones? Nope, but that didn't stop them from creating school zones in the interest of money "safety".

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