Cab drivers protest congestion pricing: 'Shame on Cuomo!'

February 04, 2019 - 6:59 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Taxi drivers on Sunday protested the new congestion pricing surcharge being imposed on drivers headed to parts of Manhattan.

They gathered outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office with signs that read, “Gov. Cuomo, where is your mercy?” They chanted, “No more tax on drivers’ backs!”

New York Taxi Workers Alliance President Bhairavi Desai said drivers are barely getting by. Some drivers even call the new surcharge a “suicide tax.”

RELATED: ‘Doesn’t seem fair’: Congestion pricing kicks in Saturday

“It has literally become hard just for people to pay for food, medicine and shelter,” Desai said.

Congestion pricing went into effect Saturday with little warning. It applies to rides heading into Manhattan south of 96th Street.

The $2.50 surcharge for yellow cabs and $2.75 surcharge for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft will go to help repair the broken subway. But Desai says it will take its toll on drivers.

“Experts anticipate a 30 percent drop in revenue as a result of this congestion surcharge. How on Earth are people expected to survive?” she said.

Drivers are heading to Albany on Tuesday to argue against congestion pricing.