DMI Blog

Paul Steely White

Freeing 3 Million Bus Riders from the Tyranny of Traffic; An immediate and often overlooked benefit of congestion pricing

bus riders.JPGAfter two weeks of fixation on the $8 that a 5% minority of drivers would pay to enter Manhattan below 86th street, New Yorkers are waking up to the benefits of the Mayor's congestion pricing plan.

The plan will benefit health and the environment by reducing carbon and asthma causing traffic. And the $400 million in annual pricing revenue will fund several long overdue subway and commuter rail expansion projects. Missing from the discussions of the benefits, however, is the substantial and more immediate benefit to the city's 3 million bus riders.

While the lack of funding certainly hampers mass transit, traffic is almost as bad. Because there are so many cars clogging our streets, the city buses have a hard time moving. In fact, New York City buses are the slowest in the nation.

In removing many of the cars that block buses, and by making it easier to reprogram car lanes into bus lanes (such as the new bus lanes proposed for the Queensboro and Williamsburg bridges), the bus boosting benefits of congestion pricing will be felt immediately. What's more, speedier buses, as in London[pdf], will set off a "virtuous cycle" of less driving and more bus ridership leading to decreased bus operation costs per rider and in turn encouraging more service, lower fares, more bus riders and fewer drivers getting in their way.

New Yorkers do not have to wait years for congestion pricing to improve the commutes of New York City's supermajority of transit riders. The improvements will begin on the first day the system goes into effect.
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Don't forget that May 18th is The Partnership for New York City and the Drum Major Institute's Marketplace of Ideas forum on Congestion Pricing featuring Deputy Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron who implimented her city's congestion pricing plan.

"Combating Global Warming through Congestion Pricing with London Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron"
Panelists include:
Ed Ott Executive Director, New York Central Labor Council
New York City Councilman Eric Gioia
New York City Councilman John C. Liu

and they are introduced by Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City

Join us,
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Kimmel Center at New York University
Rosenthal Pavilion
60 Washington Square South, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10012

Space is limited. RSVP and pre-registration are required. Admission is free.
Please RSVP by e-mail to:

Paul Steely White: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 10:43 AM, May 11, 2007 in Cities | Environmental Justice | New York | Transporation
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