Cuomo Not Giving Up on New Manhattan Tolls

ALBANY (AP) -
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t giving up on the idea of imposing new congestion tolls on motorists entering the busiest parts of Manhattan. The Democrat said on WNYC radio Friday that he believes a budget deal being negotiated will include the first phase of congestion tolling.

A state panel recommended congestion tolls up to $11 on private vehicles as a way to address gridlock and raise funds for New York City subways. But lawmakers so far have balked, with the Senate’s Republican leaders vowing to oppose any new tolls and the Democratic Assembly backing much smaller surcharges and only on for-hire vehicles.

The Assembly proposal would also impose a $1-per-ride fee on Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services statewide, a provision being fought by Uber.

Cuomo acknowledged the political challenges of approving new tolls but said he hopes all sides can agree on a deal that at least includes surcharges on for-hire vehicles entering the zone.

“Congestion pricing doesn’t happen in one fell swoop,” Cuomo said. “There are phases. I’m cautiously optimistic that we could start the process.”