Cuomo Threatens 30% Hike In Subway Fares Unless Lawmakers Approve Congestion Pricing

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said that subway fares might increase by as much as 30% if lawmakers fail to approve a congestion pricing plan needed to pay for necessary improvements to the subway system, according to the New York Times

If lawmakers don’t agree on congestion pricing, a 30% increase would mean price of a monthly MetroCard would jump from $121 to around $157, while a single swipe would cost above $3. 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned on Thursday that unless state lawmakers adopt congestion pricing to pay for subway upgrades, fares and tolls might increase by 30 percent.CreditCreditStephanie Keith for The New York Times

Speaking on Thursday at a Manhattan luncheon spohnsored by the Association for a Better New York, Cuomo said tried to scare hesitant state lawmakers straight – warning that the sharp increase in fares would infurate subway riders. 

According to the Times, transit officials are already planning to hike fares by around 4% this spring. 

Either the rider pays in fares and tolls or it’s congestion pricing,” said Cuomo. “That’s the real choice.” 

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term, has made congestion pricing — a proposal to toll drivers entering the busiest parts of Manhattan to raise money for the failing subway system — one of his top legislative priorities in Albany this year, but some lawmakers are concerned about pushback from drivers.

“Why? Politicians do not like to vote for toll increases — myself included,” he said. –NYT

Cuomo added that congestion pricing would be the lesser of two evils required to raise money urgently needed by the Metro Transportation Authority, so that it can continue to maintain the city’s buses, subways and commuter railroads. 

The New York Governor estimates that the congestion pricing proposal would raise up to $15 billion for the transit agency’s needs – an idea that failed in Albany after Mayor Michael Bloomberg was unable to find enough support for the idea in 2008.