On Our Line #6: Sam Schwartz’s New York



In this, the second episode of our New York mini series, Nicole talks to Sam Schwartz about the efforts to introduce road and congestion pricing in New York.

Sam Schwartz served as New York City‘s Traffic Commissioner and the New York City Department of Transportation’s Chief Engineer. He now runs his own transport consultancy, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and is a columnist under the moniker Gridlock Sam. Sam also spearheads the Move NY campaign, which has put forward the case for a new approach to managing and financially supporting transport in New York. The proposal includes rationalising the bridge tolls, introducing congestion charging in the city centre and importantly also investing in public transport.

A native New Yorker Sam joined the city’s transport department, which is responsible for street space not public transport, neither surface transport nor subways or commuter rail, as a graduate in the early 1970s.

In the podcast, Sam outlines current efforts with the Move NY campaign to manage congestion, traffic levels and transport demand in New York. He also reflects on the various attempts in the last few decades to introduce road pricing or congestion charging and meet the public transport funding gap in New York – and his part in them.

Check out the Move NY campaign where you can find more detail about Sam’s current proposal. For a summary of Sam’s role in transport in New York read Aaron Renn’s profile of Sam in the Guardian. For a deep dive Sam’s book Street Smart – The Rise of Cities and Fall of Cars offers insight into the his story and changing attitudes to transport in New York.
For more up to date views on transport in New York, you can find Sam’s column in the Daily News.

Look out more episodes of the mini-series coming soon.

How to listen

You can find our main podcast stream at http://podcast.londonreconnections.com, and you can subscribe on iTunes here:

On Our Line: The Rail and Transport Podcast

If you do so, please remember to rate the podcast. This will help others, who are unfamiliar with London Reconnections, find it.

Please also spread the word over email or social media to those you feel would enjoy the podcast.

You can also listen directly through the internet via the embedded player below.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.