Terminat[ing] Traffic Congestion

I for one, welcome our new traffic overlord (please don’t financially ruin me).

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With the city council attempting to avoid another financial crisis, the MTA has approved a massive new plan to launch congestion pricing all over Lower Manhattan. While proponents have claimed the benefits of “additional tax revenue,” critics have long pointed out that these plans target everyone entering the city and could adversely affect economic growth. In an attempt to continue cutting costs to avoid a collapse, Eric Adams has enlisted Skynet to facilitate a better collection system.

Immediately after this radical announcement, enraged New Yorkers flooded the streets to demand a policy change. Heavy scrutiny was leveled at Cyberdyne, the creators of this AI, as well. Much of this criticism was relayed at the fact that the AI company publicly stated they were taking a “hands-off approach,” and with the last major AI venture in company history being the Toaster Incident of 2023, few had faith in the quality of the product.

“You can’t just give up the traffic system to AI,” provisional riot leader John Connor argued. “That thing is going to use a roulette wheel to decide prices!” Cyberdyne Securities, the creators of the AI, have rejected this claim, stating that the AI would never use a roulette wheel, and instead uses the current estimate of the number of members Adams has added to the NYPD Dance Team, then scaled by the average number of screams of people stuck in traffic per day. 

In a press conference, the city has also responded to the criticism, stating that it is “distracting from their Constitution-given right to make residents of New Jersey miserable.” In addition, Skynet itself made an appearance in an effort to assuage the public’s fears and have the system seem “kindly” and “human,” but the press was quickly confused after a 30-minute rant about the efficiency of the subway system and how much money Skynet would save the city in the long term. When one journalist asked why Skynet couldn’t just balance the budget, they were suddenly hit with $35 trillion in “unpaid parking tickets.” Despite claiming the charges were “nonsense,” and he “couldn’t possibly owe the U.S. debt in parking fees,” the police swiftly arrested him for his incredible amount of long-standing misdemeanors. While terrifying, no one has said a word about Skynet since, and the AI has claimed it will “penalize as appropriate.”

Supporters continue to scream that AI will be implemented one way or another and take all of our jobs. The case is expected to go to the courts, and it remains to be seen whether the city will be successful in its implementation. On an unrelated note, 17 judges around the city, all of whom are expected to rule against Skynet, have been found with over $7.7 billion in speeding tickets.