City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez announced his support for the MoveNY congestion pricing plan this morning, becoming the most prominent politician yet to explicitly endorse it.

"There is no longer a question of should we pass this plan, but when," Rodriguez said at a gathering of transportation officials and advocates.

The plan calls for implementing $5.33 tolls on the East River Bridges and lowering the tolls on other MTA-operated bridges, spreading and thinning the car traffic while also, according to plan-author projections, raising $1.5 billion annually to commit towards the city's crumbling, investment-starved transit system. The group has proposed the idea before, but released a detailed plan early this year. Mayor de Blasio has not been eager to discuss it—as late as July 23rd the mayor said he was "still not conversant enough in" the plan to form an opinion—and the plan has become a part of the political slap fight between de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo over how to fill the gap in the MTA's five-year capital budget.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris's indication that the city might even consider MoveNY in late July was enough to draw sniping from the Cuomo-controlled MTA, with Chairman Tom Prendergast calling the plan "not politically feasible." The $29 billion plan to spruce up/triage the transit authority's subway tracks, stations, bridges, and buses came without funding attached and Cuomo, after calling the budget "bloated," has demanded increasing levels of cash commitment from the city. The latest detente is over a $3.2 billion share requested of the city by the MTA, of which de Blasio has agreed to $1.6 billion.

Reacting to de Blasio's request for more city control over the state agency that holds the city's fate in its hands, Cuomo scoffed. "If the city wants more control, let them pay $8 billion," he told the New York Times, laughing. "Then we'll talk about more control."

Transit observers said that Council-led support of MoveNY could make it more palatable to Cuomo, who has been openly feuding with de Blasio since June.

In his presentation, Rodriguez also mentioned a grab bag of transportation goals, including the small-bore-but-expensive idea of renaming subway stations to reduce confusion.

Rodriguez also proposed adding solar panels to above-ground subway stations and wind generators to subway tunnels (hey, LA is looking into it!), reducing commuter-rail fares within the city to the cost of a MetroCard swipe, and the sensible-but-long-shot notion of unifying all the regional rail networks. Unification would make it so that the fares are standardized across Metro North, Long Island Rail Road, PATH, and NJ Transit trains, and the trains run through (i.e. one could stay on a Long Island Rail Road train through Penn Station and travel on to New Jersey).

Good luck with all that.