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Transportation

Taxing Uber and Lyft to Fund Transit Isn't Fair to Transit

Roads improvements are part of the regular budgeting process. Why not transit?
People enter the subway station by the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal station.
People enter the subway station by the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal station. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Enthusiasm for congestion pricing reached a fever pitch amongst New York City’s transportation advocates earlier this year, but to little avail. The state’s political process once again delayed enacting structural changes that would address congestion and transit financing directly. Instead, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a surcharge on taxis, for-hire vehicles, and pooled rides, calling this “phase one of the congestion pricing plan.” The move was aimed at both easing traffic and creating a sustainable revenue source to fund public transportation improvements.

Starting in 2019, New Yorkers can expect to pay an additional $2.75 on for-hire vehicles that are booked through apps or over the telephone such as a single ride Gett or Uber, $2.50 for yellow and green taxis that are hailed on the street or via an app, and $.75 for pooled rides such as a Lyft Line or Via with multiple passengers that enter Manhattan south of 96th Street. When all of these fees are added up, we are told, they will create $400 million per year for the MTA on an ongoing basis.