Congestion pricing is the law of the land. Come 2021, everyone will pay a fee to drive below 60th Street — that is, unless you get a coveted exemption. A six-person “traffic-mobility-review” board, named by the Metropolitian Transportation Authority, will determine who is special, including because of “hardships” and “public impact.”
The legislation itself exempts any “individual” who lives in the congestion zone and earns less than $60,000 a year.
Sure, maybe you’re the mythical $50,000 earner driving from the Lower East Side to Queens to work and wanting to drive back home. But by this logic, everyone who is doing the reverse commute — driving from Queens to work on the Lower East Side — deserves the same consideration. So no one earning under $60,000 should pay.
Who else? The Police Benevolent Association flags commuting police officers. Union chief Pat Lynch wrote recently that “first responders and other public employees in critical roles . . . shouldn’t have to pay a toll every time we report for duty.”
Fair enough. If we’re going to exempt police officers, though, we’ve got to do so for firefighters, sanitation workers and corrections officers, too. Do you want to live surrounded by garbage and fires, all thanks to the MTA?