'Congestion pricing' could make driving to Manhattan more costly

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new "congestion pricing" plan could cost people more to get to work in Manhattan.

Long Islanders are no strangers to congested roadways, but it's perhaps even worse in New York City.

Cuomo brought up the plan in his State of the State address on Tuesday, as part of an effort to find a new revenue stream for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Under the proposal, an electronic cashless tolling system would be used at all bridges and tunnels south of 60th Street.

Some worry that Long Islanders would foot the bill for a project designed to help the MTA make its budget.

"It's not fair to Long Islanders," says Republican state Sen. Phil Boyle. "We have a lot of commuters that go into the city...they already pay a lot, they shouldn't have to pay more."

Democratic state Sen. Jim Gaughran says the plan won't work if it's only intended to fix New York City infrastructure. He says Long Island needs to get its fair share of the proceeds.

Ed Rottkamp, transportation manager of Angel Plants in Dix Hills, says the company generates a quarter of its sales in Manhattan. He says if the state Legislature votes in favor of congestion pricing, Angel Plants and many other businesses and commuters will be forced to adjust.

Cuomo has not offered specifics on how much the tolls would be, but he said the plan could generate up to $15 billion annually for the MTA.

News 12 did not immediately hear back from the governor's office for comment.

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