A new surcharge in part of Manhattan will be ‘potentially devastating’ for the city’s struggling yellow-cab industry, the city’s taxi chief has warned. Beginning in January, it will cost $5.80 just to get into a yellow cab in the most congested parts of Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi said Monday that other sectors of New York City’s for-hire industry, such as limousines and app-based ride-hailing services, have more flexibility to absorb the congestion fee. “They’re not bound to a metered fare, so they can reduce the price of the trip so that the passenger doesn’t feel the effect,” she said in a statement following a City Council oversight hearing.
Beginning in January, it will cost $5.80 just to get into a yellow cab in the most congested parts of Manhattan. Under the new pricing, yellow taxis will pay $2.50 for rides that touch a congestion zone running from the southern tip of Manhattan to 96th Street at all times. That charge is in addition to an existing $2.50 pick-up fee, a 50-cent surcharge that funds mass transit and a 30-cent surcharge that funds wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
“It’s going to be devastating,“ said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “The state failed to understand the gravity of the crisis.” Drivers industrywide have suffered in recent years as an influx of tens of thousands of app-based ride-hailing vehicles has increased competition and driven down earnings.
Other for-hire vehicles, such as car services and app-based ride-hailing companies, will pay $2.75 to enter the congestion zone. Shared rides, such as UberPool and Lyft Line, will pay a total of 75 cents for each trip. Revenue from the congestion fee, estimated at up to $400 million annually, will fund subway operations run by the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has called for a fee on all vehicles entering the most congested parts of Manhattan, had advocated for the charge.
- New York City taxi chief: Congestion fee will hurt yellow cabs.