Thursday, June 28, 2007

Congestion Truckulence

There's an interesting piece in this week's Queens Courier on the impact that the mayor's congestion tax would have on the city's distribution businesses. This is a theme that we have been stressing but it bears the re-emphasis.

In the Courier story the paper gets a response to the mayor's plan from the Fresh Direct company, the firm that delivers groceries into many Manhattan neighborhoods. What the FD folks underscored was that the $21 dollar truck fee would have almost zero impact on congestion: "Ultimately, charges for trucks delivering into Manhattan, whether to residential homes or to retail locations, will be shouldered by city residents...the only effect on fees for commercial vehicles will be higher prices for New Yorkers."

Now Fresh Direct is a well financed company with relatively deep pockets. There are, however, thousands of smaller distributors and contractors who will be burdened if not crippled by this new tax; another reason why the whole plan needs a cost-benefit analysis.