Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: NYC Congestion Pricing: The Next Money Grab
In early 2019 we New Yorkers had been hearing a pseudo back & forth argument about proposed congestion pricing which ultimately was approved by legislators to go into effect next year but has already been implemented this year on ride sharing services. This latest tax (which is exactly what it is) is the latest unpopular stick it to the residents of NYC move by the Mayor and City Hall. A toll placed on all drivers coming into the city below 59th street as a means to “ease congestion” is a blatant lie. Congestion pricing won’t ease the congestion at all and City Hall and the MTA know this.
All of us grunts continue to complain about the increasing costs of living in modern day Babylon to no avail. Claims of the necessity to find more revenue to fund the MTA, an aging, antiquated, delay, trash, & homeless riddled system for mass transit as well as crumbling infrastructures like the streets and bridges are all red herrings. What’s really going on in the “Rotten Apple?” City governments are a two faced monster that lie to the public day in and day out year in and year out while claiming to be servants of the residents of the city. The elected politicians know that all of this is just the latest money grab hatched and forced down our collective throats with no opposition.
It’s the same when it comes to the never ending fare increases by the MTA which they claim are to fund the updating of the entire transit system. There is never any true accounting for how much the operating budget is for the MTA or it’s top brass. There’s never any true accounting of where the increased fare money goes once it takes effect. Since 2005, when the MTA had it’s last employee strike over plans to increase the fares but not the wages of the MTA employees, the only thing that has worked out is the actual fare increases.
All the pundits in mainstream news parroted the same song and dance. The MTA needs more money while its service remains the same or in many instances got worse with seemingly constant signal problems. When a deal was finally struck between the MTA employee union and the city what they got was guaranteed pay increases to be done incrementally over the years. There was a report of a $250 million budget surplus for the MTA which mysteriously wasn’t mentioned any longer and many of us strap hangers groaned aloud, sucked it up and continued to pay the fares as the cheapest form of transportation to and from work everyday.
The actual money raised from all the taxes we pay as New Yorkers should be more than enough to cover the repair of the roads and streets, bridges, and MTA operations but we’re not told the whole truth. All those tax dollars collected go into accounts that are then immediately invested by big banks lent out and generate interest and profits. What happens to that invested tax dollar?
Why is that money never mentioned to us when it comes to talking about budget deficits and balancing budgets? The answer in short is because the politicians and banks don’t want us to know about it. It makes it all that much easier to steal the money of the people when the people don’t know 1) That their tax dollars are earning huge returns. 2) That as a technicality politicians don’t have to include that invested tax money profit in any discussion when it comes to budgets.
They keep the system going and the people ignorant that we’re being robbed in broad daylight everyday by the same people and banks we have entrusted our money to in order to make sure all the necessities of a thriving large city and nation are met. Ride share services began to surge in service as an alternative to the buses and trains. What did the city do then? Let’s slap surcharges on the ride share vehicles which then pass the tax on to us riders who have found a faster and more affordable way to get around the city without having to constantly deal with delay after mind wracking delay on the subways and buses. All in the name of reducing congestion which they know it will never do.
Yellow cabs already had protections built in to keep them going but that didn’t stop the city from putting a cap on the number of for hire licenses for ride share services because they could see the future coming. An outdated over priced yellow cab industry was being hit by better competition from ride shares that don’t have driver based discrimination built in where they choose who they want to take just by looking at the potential rider.
Fixed preset pricing based on distance to and from destination makes everything clear which is what you want as a consumer. The congestion pricing plan though it met some opposition has passed and so to with it comes another squeeze on all of our collective wallets. Some may say it only applies to those entering the city at 59th street and below except I’ve seen it on my bill no matter where traveling in the city the surcharge for congestion pricing is automatically added to the cost of the ride. Let’s see what the overall impact is once those bridges have electronic tolls added in 2020.