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Ad Push Behind NYC "Congestion-Pricing" Plan

Proponents of "congestion pricing," a plan to make motorists pay extra for the privilege of driving on some of Manhattan's most crowded streets, have launched a new $500,000 advertising campaign today to urge millions of riders who use trains, buses and subways to support the idea.

A coalition of congestion pricing advocates includes more than a 100 business, civic, labor and environmental organizations. "These ads have a powerful message for riders: Speak up for congestion pricing now or pay later, with more delays...and decaying transit infrastructure," says Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, one member of the group. Ads will appear in subway cars, buses and commuter trains through the end of next month -- the deadline for the state legislature to act.

Environmental Defense is also running TV spots that focus on the projected population growth and its impact on clean air and already-packed mass transit systems. After a four-month study of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan last mont,h a commission recommended that lawmakers adopt the $8 fee to travel into Manhattan south of 60th Street.



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