Blunt message from NY MTA boss

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
32,766
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1

Trogdor

BURNiNATOR
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
5,928
Location
Here
Better to fund it locally via something like a congestion charge, than asking people in Montana or wherever to pay more in taxes so people in New York can get to work.

New York State is the largest “donor” state in terms of money paid to the federal government in taxes vs. federal spending received.

Montana receives more in federal spending than they pay in taxes.

So…you might want to try again on that argument.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,719
Location
Baltimore. MD
I'm sort of surprised this is a controversial political issue. Most people who live in Manhattan don't have cars, anyway. Congestion pricing would mean that people living in upstate New York wouldn't have to pay (or would pay less) for transportation improvements in New York City. This is really only a problem for suburban commuters who insist on driving into the city, a good fraction of whom come from New Jersey or Connecticut, and thus don't vote in New York State, and so don't count. I presume there would be some sort of carve-out for cabbies, rideshare drivers, and delivery trucks.
 

Devil's Advocate

🚂〰️〰️〰️〰️
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
13,307
Location
🇺🇸
Better to fund it locally via something like a congestion charge, than asking people in Montana or wherever to pay more in taxes so people in New York can get to work.
For taxes versus expenditures America has favored rural areas since the 1920's so maybe drop this line of reasoning or update it to sound less absurd.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
737
Location
Lubec, ME
For taxes versus expenditures America has favored rural areas since the 1920's so maybe drop this line of reasoning or update it to sound less absurd.
Rural areas tend to be poorer and have less job opportunities so a larger percentage on public assistance. At least that is the situation where I live. So it may be true that they are "favored". That is the nature of a social welfare state.

So it seems to me fairer to have people in a relatively well to do metro area such as NYC contribute through a congestion charge to improve public transit which in the long run will benefit everyone in the metro area, assuming carve outs are made for cab drivers, delivery vans etc.
 

joelkfla

Conductor
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
1,938
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
How would congestion charging be done?
E-ZPass transponder readers would be installed on all routes into lower & midtown Manhattan. Cars without transponders would have their plates captured by camera and billed by mail.

 

Trogdor

BURNiNATOR
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
5,928
Location
Here
Rural areas tend to be poorer and have less job opportunities so a larger percentage on public assistance. At least that is the situation where I live. So it may be true that they are "favored". That is the nature of a social welfare state.

So it seems to me fairer to have people in a relatively well to do metro area such as NYC contribute through a congestion charge to improve public transit which in the long run will benefit everyone in the metro area, assuming carve outs are made for cab drivers, delivery vans etc.

I generally support socialist ideas such as the one you mention here. Those with the means should have a greater obligation to pay than those without.

This is, however, very different from the idea that people in Montana are subsidizing New York City.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
737
Location
Lubec, ME
I generally support socialist ideas such as the one you mention here. Those with the means should have a greater obligation to pay than those without.

This is, however, very different from the idea that people in Montana are subsidizing New York City.
I won't get into the difference between a social welfare state that is primarily capitalist in its economy vs socialism as that would take this thread off topic.

The example of Montana was not intended to be taken literally. In general it is better to fund something that benefits a local area by taxing that particular area rather than the state or country in general. Of course there are always exceptions.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,719
Location
Baltimore. MD
I won't get into the difference between a social welfare state that is primarily capitalist in its economy vs socialism as that would take this thread off topic.

The example of Montana was not intended to be taken literally. In general it is better to fund something that benefits a local area by taxing that particular area rather than the state or country in general. Of course there are always exceptions.
The issue isn't really people in Montana paying for stuff that benefits New York City. The real political issue is that some people who live in upstate New York (which for some goes all the way down to Westchester County, and may even include Suffolk County in Long Island) feel they are paying a disproportionate amount of money on stuff that benefits New York City. This is accented by the fact that parts of upstate New York are in economic decline. Forget about the argument that New York City is an economic engine that powers the rest of the state, Americans in general are very provincial, and are reluctant to pay for public works that don't immediately and directly benefit them. I doesn't bother me that a (very minuscule) part of my gas taxes fund highways in Montana, I don't know why they're all bent out of shape about a smaller amount of their money funding stuff in New York.

This is why I'm mystified that congestion pricing has been a political controversy. It benefits the vast majority of people in the New York area who don't own cars or have the sense to commute into Midtown and Downtown by public transportation. It funds transportation works in the City, thus reducing the need for funds from people who live upstate who rarely, if ever drive in Midtown or Downtown. The only people who this really affects are suburban commuters who, for some reason, are masochistic enough to want to drive into Midtown and Downtown. Of course, this includes big shots who feels they should never have to associate with the riffraff and ride the subway to work. (Related to this, I worked for a while under an EPA high muckety-muck responsible for regulating auto emissions and greenhouse gases who regularly drove to work while the rest of us peons rode in with subsidized transit tickets. Didn't set a very good example, in my opinion.)

The only stakeholders with a legitimate concern, in my opinion, are cabbies/rideshare drivers and delivery drivers. But I believe that most congestion pricing proposals have some kind of accommodation for those sorts of uses.
 

NorthShore

Conductor
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
1,236
Location
Chicago
The only stakeholders with a legitimate concern, in my opinion, are cabbies/rideshare drivers and delivery drivers. But I believe that most congestion pricing proposals have some kind of accommodation for those sorts of uses.

I would add some disabled persons, for whom practical accesibility is not always available easily on transit, and so are in need of indiviualized transportation options for equal opportunity.
 

NorthShore

Conductor
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
1,236
Location
Chicago
Perhaps there will be an exemption for physically challenged drivers. I think paratransit would be exempt as a form of public transit.

I know New Yorkers who are unable to drive, but have relatives who own accessible vehicles to provide for their transportation. They make use of paratransit and even the regular transit system, when possible. But it isn't always possible or practical. New York (with all its money and braggadoccio) is particularly weak in areas of accessibility compared to some other big cities.

I'm not a big fan of personal transportation vehicles. However, the disabled and handicapped are one population for which it makes particular sense as a practical necessity. They should not be penalized for the failures of investment by the rest of society.
 
Top