The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) calls for an immediate amendment to N.Y. Tax. L. §1299 to exempt yellow and green taxis from the congestion surcharge in effect since February 2nd, 2019.
Despite the fact that yellow taxis have already contributed $650 million specifically toward the MTA since 2010, the State recently imposed a $2.50 tax on every taxi ride that touches the Congestion Zone of 96th Street and below in Manhattan – also known as the “yellow zone” as approximately 95% of taxi trips begin and end there –expected to lead to a 30% decline in ridership for yellow cabs who have already seen ridership drop by 40% from five years ago, a record low. While taxi drivers have not gotten a raise on the metered fare in seven years, a sales tax this large robs them of any hope of a raise anytime soon, as any increase would only depress ridership further. The MTA, meanwhile, will remain underfunded. Reducing taxi mileage in the CBD will also not reduce congestion given the record low number of cars and their efficiency at a higher rate than other vehicles. The only outcome here is the further impoverishment of a workforce already in crisis. It is impractical, and it is cruel.