On Thursday, January 31, 2019 NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai (she/her) released the following statement on the Congestion Pricing lawsuit following judge's denial of the state's motion to dismiss the case, and lifting of the temporary restraining order:
"We feel triumphant that the state's motion to dismiss was denied and it gives us hope that ultimately the state will do the right thing and spare drivers the poverty and crisis that would result from this congestion fee. The judge lifted the restraining order, putting the authority back into the governor's hands on whether to burden taxi drivers with the surcharge while the case continues.
"We're calling on the governor not to move forward with fees that will force drivers to choose between food and medicine. That is how dire the poverty is now among this workforce that has lost eight of our brothers to suicide in less than a year.
"Implementing the surcharge while the lawsuit continues could put the the industry in the predicament of figuring out how to refund passengers, even those who paid with cash, should the drivers ultimately win the case.
"Given that Albany is already renegotiating a new congestion pricing plan, the surcharge on taxis and for-hire vehicles should be reconsidered within these broader proposals. That's why we're heading to Albany on February 5th."