New York City drivers buckle up because Big Brother (aka nan MTA) is keeping a watchful oculus connected you by installing cameras on New York City streets to way you. But why? Well, it each boils down to money, of course. The MTA is rolling retired a arguable $15 per time congestion interest for each drivers venturing southbound of 60th Street. They’ve moreover fixed this area of Manhattan a snazzy name: nan toll congestion zone.
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Now, let’s dive into nan nitty-gritty. License sheet readers person been strategically placed supra FDR Drive astatine East 25th Street and connected Route 9A (The West Side Highway) to support tabs connected drivers entering nan congestion zone. This intends that immoderate driver who enters this area will person to salary nan fee, sloppy of wherever they unrecorded aliases wherever they are going.
But here’s nan twist: authorities rule prevents nan MTA from charging drivers who instrumentality to nan highway. While some nan FDR Drive and Route 9A are presently excluded from nan toll nether authorities law, immoderate motorists definitive interest that this infrastructure could yet beryllium utilized to complaint tolls connected these highways arsenic well. After all, pinch nan instrumentality already successful place, what's stopping authorities legislators from changing that rule and starting charging for road usage, too?
But what astir discounts, you ask? If you’re utilizing nan Hudson River aliases East River tunnels, you’ll snag a saccharine $5 discount disconnected that $15 toll. Meanwhile, nan FDR Expressway and West Side Highway stay toll-free, arsenic we mentioned. And if you unrecorded successful nan congestion area and make little than $60,000 annually, you tin deduct nan costs from your taxes. Plus, low-income drivers trekking from areas much than half a mile distant from a subway, commuter railroad, aliases definitive autobus extremity get their ain portion of nan discount pie.
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Let’s rewind a bit. Back successful 2019, erstwhile Governor Andrew Cuomo and nan Democratic-run Assembly and Senate gave nan greenish ray to nan congestion pricing program. Current Governor Kathy Hochul is each in, predicting that this programme will rake successful a cool 1 cardinal dollars annually. And wherever will that rate flow? Straight into awesome upgrades for nan MTA’s subway, commuter railroads, and autobus systems. Talk astir a transit makeover.
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Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) couldn’t defy a quip astir nan licence sheet readers saying, "It’s astonishing to spot nan MTA move into nan MI6 spy agency erstwhile it comes to screwing drivers, but it can’t moreover make a turnstile to forestall subway fare beating." Touché, Councilman Borelli.
Borelli raises a valid concern. Could nan MTA yet grow nan congestion area to see toll-free highways? Remember really nan legislature expanded velocity cameras during nan city’s aviator program? Well, they mightiness conscionable do nan aforesaid pinch nan congestion toll. As they say, "Where there’s a legislative will, there’s a tollway."
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As New York City’s streets go watched by licence sheet readers and surveillance cameras, drivers find themselves astatine nan crossroads of convenience and scrutiny. The $15 congestion toll promises to money transit improvements, but it besides raises questions astir fairness and early description s. So, chap commuters, support your eyes connected nan roadworthy and your wallets because Big Brother is decidedly watching and charging you.
What do you think? Will this exemplary of congestion tolls dispersed to different cities, including yours? Let america cognize by penning america at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
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