The MTA is in big financial trouble, and one NYC lawmaker has a very…creative…new solution for helping them out.
When the transit authority released their proposed budget for 2021 that would have to be enacted if they receive no federal aid, it was a “worst-case scenario plan,” including 40% reduced subway & bus service, 50% reduced Long Island Rail Road & Metro-North service, and nearly 9,400 lay-offs.
Even if that worst-case scenario does not come to pass, NYS Assemblymember Robert Carroll (who represents parts of Brooklyn) has proposed a new plan that could help the transit system for years to come, as it was projecting deficits even before the pandemic. The new bill would involve a $3 surcharge (or tax) to packages New Yorkers order from online businesses like Amazon. The fee would not apply to essential items like food and medicine.
Carroll, who has proposed the bill alongside Queens Senator Jessica Ramos, says that the charge would raise $1 billion per year of much-needed funds for the NYC subway.
“An estimated 1.8 million packages on average are delivered daily to apartments and homes in the city,” he wrote in a recent Op/Ed in the New York Daily News. Delivery trucks and vans are a ubiquitous presence on our city streets, weaving through our neighborhoods, double-parking in bus lanes and idling outside buildings, day and night. Shopping online is cheap and convenient. It also means more trucks clogging city traffic, slowing buses, and spewing pollution, all of which have costs of their own.”
He also says it would help encourage New Yorkers to shop at their local mom & pop shops again, rather than put in a 2-day delivery order to big corporations like Amazon, Walmart, etc.
You can read their full argument in the Daily News here.
featured image source: MTA