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Could the cost of congestion pricing come down? Gov. Hochul may be reconsidering $15 toll

Is Gov. Kathy Hochul reconsidering the $15 congestion pricing toll?
Is Gov. Kathy Hochul reconsidering the $15 congestion pricing toll? 03:09

NEW YORK -- Could the cost of congestion pricing come down? Gov. Kathy Hochul may be giving the toll another thought.

Before the plan was paused, the proposed rate was $15 to drive into Manhattan's Central Business District.

On the one hand, Hochul told CBS News, "Now is not the time to institute a charge, a toll on everyone who comes into Manhattan in this Central Business District."

But with advocates vowing to sue, she seemed to open up a little wiggle room, hinting that she may be open to discussing a lower fee.

"Fifteen dollars is a lot to start with. We have studied congestion pricing around the world. It has customarily started at a lower price point," Hochul said.

She's right about that. When London started congestion pricing, the charge was 5 pounds, or $6.32 in American dollars. In Milan, it was $5.75 in American currency, and in Stockholm, it was $2.55 in American dollars.

Hochul needs to get the legislature or the federal government to help with a funding source for the MTA's badly needed Capital Plan and find some way to put off the threatened suit until she can figure out a solution.

Charging less could be part of a solution to solve both problems and get congestion pricing started, but there would be pressure on the legislature to come up with a way to make up the difference so the MTA has enough money to start fixing the system.

NYC comptroller says a solution to start congestion pricing is needed

Comptroller Brad Lander says if the governor didn't like the $15 fee, she could have spoken up.

"It's her panel that chose the $15 number, so there was time to have this conversation earlier," Lander said.

Lander is leading a coalition of advocates threatening to sue to get congestion pricing enacted.

CBS New York political reporter Marcia Kramer asked him if he thought the governor's talk about price points opens the door to a compromise.

"Look, I think the panel could have done a more creative job, and if what it takes to get it going is to go back and look at it, if that's how she'll get it off indefinite pause and move it forward, then I'm open. We need a solution here," Lander said.

For more on congestion pricing, click here to watch the full interview with Lander on "The Point with Marcia Kramer."

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