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Paterson’s Biggest Test

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At the writing of this editorial, there has yet to be a political agreement on a rescue plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The heated battle speaks volumes about the shortcomings of Gov. David Paterson.

Paterson was in favor of putting tolls on bridges crossing the East and Harlem rivers. If the tolls can be collected by the use of E−Z Pass without causing massive delays, the plan may be worth a try.

The ultimate goal should be encouraging commuters to use their cars less and mass transit more.

The Senate Democrats rejected the tolls. They prefer a small increase in mass transit fares coupled with a payroll tax in the 12 counties served by the MTA. The governor then looked to the state’s Republicans for political support.

Both plans have merit. It is unfortunate the governor was not able to meet the leaders behind closed doors to carve out a plan everyone could stand behind. That would have shown real leadership.

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