Will Pricing Be on the Agenda of Newly-Appointed Ravitch Commission?
Earlier this week Governor David Paterson announced appointees to the Ravitch Commission. The 13-member body, headed by former MTA Chair Richard Ravitch, is charged with researching and recommending revenue streams for the MTA in the wake of congestion pricing's initial defeat at the hands of Assembly Democrats.
At least four commission members can probably -- and in some cases, definitely -- be counted as supporters of some form of road pricing: current MTA chief Elliot Sander; NYC Office of Management and Budget Director Mark Page; transportation consultant and former MTA Capital Construction President Mysore L. Nagaraja; and Peter Goldmark, former executive director of the Port Authority and currently with the Environmental Defense Fund.
Since Paterson, who made the commission appointments himself, backed congestion pricing, and since Ravitch has reportedly described pricing as "on his agenda," it's not much of a stretch to assume that the rest of the commission should at least be open to the concept. The question is, with the original proposal's executioners still in office -- and with commission recommendations set to come in December, after the fall elections -- will it matter?