Wednesday, January 26, 2005
You heard it here first
Gov. George E. Pataki just might have a bridge he wants to lease you.
Buried in one of the bills accompanying the governor's budget proposal last week is a plan to give the state's Transportation Department, the Thruway Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority the power to lease toll roads, bridges and even its subway lines to private companies and let them collect the tolls or fares.
Democratic lawmakers criticized the proposal here Tuesday at a joint legislative hearing on the governor's transportation proposals, which have already come under fire from transit advocates and elected officials who say they would not provide the M.T.A. with enough money either for essential maintenance or long-term projects. State Transportation Commissioner Joseph H. Boardman said after the hearing that the state was weighing "a privatization model or a partnership" for some toll roads and bridges, and added that the Tappan Zee Bridge could be a candidate for such a deal.
Would a certain appliance manufacturer be an appropriate choice?