Starting January 1st, 2019, there will be a new $2.50 fee added to every taxi fare. The “congestion fee” which has worked in other cities such as London, Milan, San Diego and Singapore has been met with mixed reactions. The designated “congestion zone” is below 96th Street in Manhattan. The state estimates it will generate about $400 million per year for the financially strapped MTA.
When the surcharge takes effect on New Year’s Day, it will cost riders $5.80 just to sit in a cab. The congestion fee was approved by Cuomo and the State legislature and is meant to fund mass transit. The fee will be added to initial charges that go to drivers, the MTA, and to offer more wheelchair accessible cars on the streets.
During a time where cab drivers are literally killing themselves because they cannot survive, some taxi drivers are fearful the new fee will further scare off passengers. Yellow taxis also charge riders a $1 surcharge for rides between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and a 50 cent night fee from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Lyft and Uber will be required to implement a $2.75 fee for regular trips and 75 cents for carpool trips. The higher $2.75 surcharge will also apply to the city’s green cabs.
What do you guys think? Do you feel this fee will help reduce traffic and push people towards mass transit?