New York's plan to reduce traffic by charging people who drive into the busiest parts of Manhattan received significant support on Thursday as Gov. Eliot Spitzer endorsed the idea and the Bush administration indicated that New York stood to gain hundreds of millions of dollars if the plan were enacted. If the measure is approved by the Legislature, New York will become the first city in the United States to impose a broad system of congestion pricing, which was introduced in London in 2003 and has been credited with reducing traffic there, reports the New York Times.
Spitzer said he would work to ensure passage of the plan, part of the mayor's blueprint for improving air quality and traffic flow for the next several decades. The Bloomberg administration has estimated that it could put the program into effect within 18 months of legislative approval. The mayor's plan would charge $8 for cars and $21 for commercial trucks that enter Manhattan below 86th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, or $4 for drivers within the congestion zone, with several exceptions.