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Cuomo's Ultimatum: Congestion Pricing Or 30-Percent Fare Hike To Fund MTA Fix

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking lawmakers to choose between congestion pricing or a 30-percent fare hike to fix the failing Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The fare hike would be on top of an increase that's already under consideration. 

The MTA is antiquated, plagued with overcrowding, endless delays, broken signals and, according to the governor, in need of an overhaul.

"The MTA's performance is simply indefensible," he said Thursday.

Watch: Gov. Cuomo Lays Out Plan For MTA Fix 

Cuomo's putting on the pressure, offering two options to get the MTA the money it needs.

"The real choice is between congestion pricing or a 30-percent MTA toll and fare increase," he said.

The proposed 30-percent hike in fares and tolls would be on top of the one that's already in the works, which would raise the $2.75 fare to $3. That price would go to $4 without congestion pricing for passenger cars in parts of Manhattan.

Web Extra: Michael Gianaris On CBSN New York 

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris spoke about the governor's pitch on CBSN New York, saying the 30-percent increase option is a bit extreme.

"I think the governor is being a little creative to identify the scope of the problem for people and encourage them to focus on congestion pricing as a solution, and hopefully it will never come anything close to that," he said.

Even talk of a potential 30-percent hike concerns riders.

MORE: Gov. Cuomo Makes It Clear: He Wants Total Control Of MTA

"Four dollars? I think $3 is way too much that they're talking about," Lisa Lamarati, of Long Island City, said.

"That would be terrible. I don't like how much I pay already," said Andrew Thomas, of Far Rockaway.

The governor's clear preference is getting congestion pricing passed by lawmakers, which would mean a surcharge for passenger cars entering Manhattan's business district below 60th Street.

Lawmakers would have to approve congestion pricing. If passed, Cuomo says cameras would be installed throughout Manhattan as part of the EZ-Pass system.

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