NY Rideshare Drivers React to Approval of Congestion Toll Plan

27 Mar 2024

Rideshare Drivers Guild Reacts to MTA’s Approval of Congestion Toll Plan 

New York, NY — Today the Independent Drivers Guild, the nation’s largest rideshare driver advocacy organization, reacted to the MTA’s passage of a congestion tolling policy.

“Together we proved that our voices can make a difference. Thousands of for-hire vehicle drivers organized with the Guild to defeat the MTA’s original plan to tax rideshare drivers directly rather than the customers. It made no sense to tax the for-hire drivers when it is the riders who elect to enter the congestion zone, and we are pleased that the officials listened. We still have concerns about the disparate impacts the final plan is expected to have on the rideshare industry and the livelihood of 80,000 New Yorkers. We will closely monitor the impacts of this new policy on working families to make sure for-hire vehicles aren’t paying more than our fair share. We also continue to urge the MTA and New York leaders to fix the disparities in the toll rates between yellow cabs and rideshare,” said Brendan Sexton, president of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate representing and advocating for New York City’s 80,000 Uber and Lyft drivers.

Further Background:

While far from perfect, the Guild is pleased that the Governor’s office and MTA listened to drivers and made changes to ensure that any tolls would go to customers requesting Manhattan travel rather than directly on the drivers. These changes came after IDG issued a letter to Governor Hochul and the MTA warning that double taxing FHV drivers would devastate thousands of New York City families and could put 15,000 drivers out of work. More than 11,000 Uber & Lyft drivers signed the IDG’s petition urging Governor Hochul and the MTA not to double tax the city’s for-hire vehicle drivers – and hundreds of the city’s Uber and Lyft drivers participated in protests outside Governor Hochul’s Manhattan office and MTA headquarters.The MTA toll plan assesses an additional $2.50 congestion tax on rideshare (Uber and Lyft) rides that enter or originate within the Manhattan central business district.  This is on top of the current  congestion fee of $2.75 per rideshare trip in Manhattan below 96th St.  Therefore, the total congestion tax on rideshare trips will be $5.25 per trip in the Manhattan congestion zone. Furthermore, rideshare trips are already assessed an 8.875% state sales tax, some of which is also dedicated to the MTA, a fee that yellow taxis are not charged.

In contrast, yellow taxis, green cabs and other FHVs will be assessed an additional $1.50 congestion tax on top of a current $2.50 for a total of $4.00.  Again, no state sales tax.