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Congestion pricing triggers hustle for discounts, exemptions | Crain’s New York Business

Commercial truckers want out of New York City’s first-in-the-nation congestion pricing. So do advocates for the disabled, taxi drivers and swaths of the suburbs.

Whether they’ll win hinges on a battle of wills belonging to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and a yet-to-be-named six-member panel that will decide who pays what in a bid to raise $15 billion to fix the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway, train, bus, bridge and tunnel system. Hours after the state legislature and Cuomo backed the plan, part of the $175 billion fiscal 2020 state budget, drivers’ cries of “Unfair!” were near-deafening.

“Not a nickel goes to roads in a state where 69% are considered in bad or mediocre condition,” said Robert Sinclair, spokesman for AAA Northeast, the motorists advocacy group.

The tolls will start no sooner than Dec. 31, 2020, south of 60th Street, with exemptions for the FDR Drive and West Side Highway north-and southbound express routes, according to Cuomo’s office. Pricing and hours will be set by a review board under the MTA’s Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. It also will consider whether to grant exemptions to disabled motorists and credits for tolls on bridges and tunnels that enter the zone, as Cuomo and de Blasio had suggested in February.

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Congestion pricing triggers hustle for discounts, exemptions.

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