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NYTWA Statement on the Passage of Comprehensive Congestion Pricing and the Impact on Taxi Drivers

NYTWA Statement on the Passage of Comprehensive Congestion Pricing and the Impact on Taxi Drivers

Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (she/her), released the following statement: 

"Now, as the legislature waives off the congestion surcharge on private cars for another two years, taxi drivers will be still stuck in the same traffic they didn't cause, trying to survive on an uneven playing field, during the worst financial crisis in the industry in generations, and without new fares that were promised to be generated once private motorists entering Manhattan opted to park and hail in order to offset the loss in ridership. The entire Congestion Surcharge plan passed to date is meant to crush Uber and Lyft's competitors while the companies go for their IPOs this year. Yellow cab drivers are being singled out with this tax even though the cars are at a record low number and are not new to the zone, causing the congestion, and despite an economic crisis that is absolutely crushing families and sinking them into deeper poverty and bankruptcy. The MTA meanwhile will remain underfunded as taxis lose ridership or go bankrupt. Our fight for the tax on yellow and green cabs to be repealed continues, now armed with more evidence that our tax was a set up all along."

Background on the Congestion Surcharge for Taxis

  • The Governor rushed a surcharge on taxis and For-Hire-Vehicles which went into effect on February 2nd, 2019 while a surcharge on private cars and trucks is forbidden by law to go into effect before December 2020.

  • The entire "yellow zone" of 96th Street and below and both the West Side Highway and FDR are taxed for drivers, while private cars will be taxed only after 60th Street and below and be exempt if they are driving through on either highway.

  • Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft can charge a concession rate of 75c tax as long as the passenger "requests" a group ride - even if the company does not match the trip with a second passenger.  

  • The entire Congestion Surcharge plan passed to date is meant to crush Uber and Lyft's competitors while the companies go for their IPO's this year, still not having monopolized.  

  • Yellow cab drivers are subject to the tax even though the cars are at a record low number and are not new to the zone, causing the congestion, and despite an economic crisis that is absolutely crushing families and sinking them into deeper poverty and bankruptcy.  

  • The MTA meanwhile will remain underfunded as taxis lose ridership and/or go bankrupt.  Albany put the cart before the horse and keeps whipping drivers' backs to move the cart faster.  It's not sustainable for the driver or for the MTA and it has nothing to do with congestion.  It's political favoritism to help companies get richer while a whole workforce is made more poor by the hour.

Read About the Demands We Put On the Table at Today's TLC Hearing!

Read About the Demands We Put On the Table at Today's TLC Hearing!

NYTWA Stands in Solidarity with Uber & Lyft Drivers on Strike in Los Angeles