THE BRONX - Congestion pricing is dead and while many Bronx residents aren't sad about the legislative defeat, they are upset that it's put the brakes on transit upgrades.
The state Assembly and Senate defeated Mayor Michael Bloomberg's traffic fee plan Monday before the midnight deadline. Lawmakers said there simply wasn't enough support for the measure that would have charged drivers $8 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street during work hours; truck drivers would have paid $21.
In a statement, Bloomberg said, "Today is a sad day for New York City. It takes true leadership and courage to embrace new ideas."
The scuttled plan means the city will lose $354 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funding that was earmarked for public transit upgrades.
In the Bronx, some of the forfeited money would have gone toward three express bus lines from Throgs Neck, Morris Park and Co-op City. Plans for a Bronx-to-Manhattan ferry are also at a standstill. Additionally, expanded service on the 5, 6 and Metro-North lines that service the Bronx are now doubtful.
Commuters believe Bloomberg can still make good on promises he made while campaigning for the congestion pricing fee across the city.
"He still can enforce it. He can find the money from somewhere to make it happen. If he doesn't, it's just an excuse," said straphanger Shareeta Aswad.
Apparently, a planned Fordham-to-LaGuardia Airport bus will not be affected.