UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan â€” No one wants to pay more to take a Uber, Lyft or yellow taxi in the busiest parts of Manhattan, but thatâ€™s what will be happening starting January 2019.
â€œOh no, no I donâ€™t like the idea,â€� Hannah Sher, an Uber rider, told PIX11. â€œI always take taxis.â€�
Itâ€™s part of the new $163.3 billion state budget deal. Albany lawmakers agreed to the first congestion surcharge on black cars and yellow taxis below 96th street. It will cost an extra $2.50 for taxis, 2.75 for uber, Lyft or other for hire cars and an extra 75 cents for ride shares.
Itâ€™s not exactly what congestion pricing advocates wanted, but itâ€™s a start, according to Gridlock Sam, also known as Sam Schwartz.
â€œIâ€™m hoping weâ€™ll see it next year. Courage wanes in an election year. We donâ€™t have full congestion pricing charge yet, but maybe theyâ€™ll regain courage in an off year,â€� Schwartz said.
Officials expect this first phase of congestion pricing will generate about $421 million a year, all going to the MTA but the New York Taxi Workers Alliance says it will devastate their workforce and industry.
â€œThis is unfair,â€� Javaid Tariq, co-founder N.Y. Taxi Workers Alliance told PIX11. â€œTaxi members havenâ€™t gotten a raise since 2012.â€�
In the ongoing feud between Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo, the budget includes a provision to make sure the city doesnâ€™t divert MTA funds to other purposes.
â€œThis budget appears to respond to the mayorÂ¹s demands on behalf of the cityÂ¹s straphangers,” the mayor said in a statement. “There are no excuses left for the Governor to hide behind. He must do his job and fix the subways.â€�
And some Upper West Siders want congestion pricing to go further.
â€œItâ€™s worked in other cities. People always freak out with change,” â€� Susan Meyer said.