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De Blasio: East River Tolls Worth Exploring, But Plan Unlikely To Clear Albany

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The head of the City Council's Transportation Committee is supporting tolls on East River bridges, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the plan would face an uphill battle in the state Legislature.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, D-Manhattan, wrote in a policy report released Monday that charging the tolls would "revolutionize the way our city moves and make our roads that much cleaner, safer and more equitably used."

He is backing the proposal by the group MoveNY to place $5.54 tolls on the bridges to help fund the subway, buses and commuter rail lines.

While de Blasio said the plan is something worth looking at, he also believes there is no appetitie for it in Albany, where state lawmakers must green-light such a change.

The mayor then put the spotlight on Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"We need to approach the MTA differently in terms of the role the state plays to begin with," de Blasio told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb.

The mayor pointed out the MTA is, as he put it, "the state's responsibility." The governor names the head of the MTA and makes the majority of the appointments on the MTA board.

"The state's responsiblity is to ensure that the resources are there," de Blasio said.

The mayor said he wants to see an end to the practice of the state taking money from the MTA and putting into its general budget.

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