Monday, May 18, 2009

Even In New York City, People Use Cars

Matt Yglesias laments outer-borough NYC opposition to congestion pricing, claiming this is counter to their constituents interests since "the population in the outer boroughs is mostly low-income and mostly takes transit into the city". It's worth pointing out at this juncture that lots of people in New York City still drive cars. Trasnit commuters account for 50% of all commuters in Queens, 56% in the Bronx, and 60% in Brooklyn. That's certainly more than almost anywhere else in America, but from a political perspective it's a bare majority; you would have to get every transit rider in an election to vote for you, or convince some car commuters that the congenstion pricing will endu p benefiting them. Even if income level didn't have an effect on voting rates, district lines for State Assemblymen probably put several representatives in constituencies with fewer subway/bus riders than car drivers.

(Photo of cars stuck in traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge from Tom Holbrook)
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