Cuomo warns LIRR riders could pay more if congestion pricing proposal fails

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that Long Island Rail Road riders could pay more if a congestion pricing proposal fails.

"It's ridiculous," Northport’s Kenny Cheema says of Cuomo's push for congestion pricing or a 30 percent MTA fare hike.

Cheema says he recently switched careers because he could no longer afford paying the tolls to get into New York City to work as a property manager. He says the prospect of paying more for tolls under Cuomo's proposal is simply too much.

But Cuomo says congestion pricing or an MTA fare hike are the only two viable options for raising funds needed to repair a crumbling transit system that opened in 1904. The governor says he'll ask the Democrat-controlled state Legislature to approve tolls on driving into the busiest parts of Manhattan, or raise the tab for using subways, tunnels and bridges by 30 percent to fund the overhaul of New York City's ailing transit system.

Cuomo has said congestion tolling would raise $1 billion annually, but he has yet to say how much drivers would have to pay to raise that amount.

MORE: 'Congestion pricing' could make driving to Manhattan more costly

The idea of congestion pricing has been defeated in the state Legislature in the past. But it may have new momentum now that Democrats have the majority in both the Assembly and Senate.

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