Calling it "the best way for us to survive economically." New York Gov. David Paterson has endorsed the so-called Ravitch Plan to avoid a 23 percent fare hike called for in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2009 budget. The plan would put tolls on all bridges across the East and Harlem Rivers and impose a .33 percent "mobility tax" on business payrolls in the five boroughs of New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties.
Richard Ravitch, the former MTA executive director who developed the plan, said the tolls would raise approximately $1 billion a year to support the region's public transit systems while the payroll tax would bring in around $1.5 billion. Even with the new tolls and taxes, MTA customers will probably face an eight percent fare hike next July.
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