Max & Murphy: Is 2019 the Year NYC Fixes its Transit Mess?


Adi Talwar

Riders enter the subway at 59th Street. A decline in transit ridership is seen as a symptom of the system's larger problems.

A decade after it died without a vote in Albany, congestion pricing is likely to become reality in New York City in 2019.

The governor is behind it. Many of the newly elected Democratic senators, whose party controls the legislature, are supporters. Even the mayor’s opposition to it is softening. And the transit crisis continues to make the case for a mechanism that will get cars off the road, help transit ridership recover and pump desperately needed money into the system, MoveNY campaign director Alex Mathiessen told the WBAI Max & Murphy show Wednesday.

But even that landmark policy won’t be enough to create a sustainable financing structure for mass transit in New York City, noted Politico NY senior reporter Dana Rubenstein on Wednesday’s program.

The two appeared as part of the City Limits-Gotham Gazette series Agenda 2019 and its look this week at transit issues.

Mathiessen addressed some of the big questions about congestion pricing, which would consist of gate-less tolling on driving in Manhattan south of 60th Street, like whether there ought to be exemptions for some groups of drivers and how service would improve enough to give drivers from poorly served areas of the city other options before the fees are imposed.

Rubenstein talked about the vague discussion of other funding for the system, the departure of MTA chairman Joe Lhota and the impact of Amazon’s pending arrival on the transit system.

Below is the full show. Our conversation with Mathiessen begins at about 5:00 and our talk with Rubenstein around the 30-minute mark.

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