March/April 1995, p.2


Dear AFP:

With regard to "Saving the Fare With Roadway Pricing" in the Jan/Feb Auto-Free Press, I think a taxi surcharge is a great idea. I think East River bridge tolls are a terrible idea.

An alternative to all tolls would be a higher car registration fee and a gasoline surcharge. Electronic tolling with the E-Z Pass would not rid us of traffic-tying toll plazas - there are always those without the pass.

I have mixed feelings about onstreet parking permits. If there were some way to ensure a parking spot...In any event I think car owners (and I am one!) should be forced to pay more for the privilege of driving. But I don't think city residents should be overly penalized-it would be nice if there were some way to limit non-NYC resident vehicles from entering the city. Anyway, thanks for doing a great job!

Elyse Shustak, NYC NY.

Author's reply:

Glad you liked our proposed taxi surcharge to raise revenue ($125 million a year) to help head off a subway fare hike. Re East River bridge tolls, we believe no new toll plazas would be needed. License plates of vehicles without electronic passes would be photographed automatically for billing by mail - a proven system elsewhere. Non-equipped vehicles registered in the four-state region covered by E-Z Pass (encompassing most vehicles driven locally), would get several warnings, then stiff fines. We think it could work, and that the payoff ($375 million a year) makes it worth trying.

Charles Komanoff