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Assemblyman Weprin Speaks Out Against Congestion Pricing; Protesters Disagree

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Demanding that the subways be fixed, protesters gathered Sunday as a state assemblyman and city councilman declared their opposition to a congestion pricing plan.

Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) and Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-23rd) held a news conference objecting to a congestion pricing plan advised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo – intended to unclog Manhattan streets and raise money for mass transit.

As 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported, Weprin said such a plan would hurt the outer boroughs, where people often drive into Midtown because there is not great mass transit.

"There are many ways to fix it, but the way to do it is not on the backs of middle class New Yorkers," Weprin said.

Meanwhile, about two dozen frustrated subway and bus riders demanded solutions instead of what they said was grandstanding from elected leaders. The group, led by Rebecca Bailin of the Riders Alliance, called on Weprin to bring real fixes to the system -- which they call outdated and unreliable.

"Our subways are falling apart," Bailin told WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron. "We have triple the amount of delays in five years."

As 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported, one protester named Hilda said she just wants a dependable subway ride.

"Forty minutes to go four stops," she said. "When it works, it works. But when it doesn't, you're just screwed."

The Riders Alliance supports congestion pricing. But Weprin said everyone wants to fix the system, and he would like to start by bringing back the nonresident income tax.

"For people that work in New York City, make their living here, but live outside the city," Weprin said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a millionaires' tax to fund improvements to the subway.

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