De Blasio said it is highly unlikely that the Republican-controlled state senate would agree to congestion pricing. The mayor also said he opposes the idea because he has yet to see such a model that he thought was fair.
Cuomo has been floating the idea of reviving congestion pricing for vehicles traveling in and out of Manhattan for the past few weeks and has said he would most likely introduce a specific plan in his State of the State address in January. He said the extra vehicle charges would help fund the city's aging subway system and other transit projects.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, congestion pricing reduces traffic jams and allows motorists to estimate their travel time more reliably. Even a 5% reduction in traffic during peak travel times, the agency said, can increase the flow of traffic significantly.
Much of the focus around congestion pricing concerns the extra money commuters will have to spend to travel during periods of high-volume traffic. Discounts, which could be included in Cuomo's plan, can also be effective in reducing traffic flow.
For example, in the late 1990s, Lee County, FL officials began offering 50% discounts on tolls to drivers who traveled during set periods before and after rush hour and paid electronically. The plan reduced traffic on high-volume routes during peak travel times by up to 20%, according to the FHA.
Today, state and local officials are grappling with ways to raise money for infrastructure while easing traffic congestion and encouraging commuters to use alternate modes of transportation. Although there is support for a gas-tax increase, many legislators are wary of such a move.
In addition to discounts, per-mile charges are another way to ensure everyone, including electric and hybrid vehicle owners, are paying an equal share toward infrastructure maintenance. Oregon offers a voluntary per-mile-charge program that allows drivers to pay a fee based on distance traveled instead of paying the state gas taxes.
Earlier this month, the I-95 Corridor Coalition, made up of transportation agencies along the U.S. East Coast, announced it would start testing a per-mile-charge that could supplement and potentially even replace the federal gas tax.