If you live in New York City or have even merely set foot in Manhattan, you know what traffic there is like. If you’ve never been, trust us, it’s every bit as bad as you could possibly imagine. Fair or not, a lot of people have blamed the rise of Uber and Lyft for making a bad situation worse — this year, the average car in Midtown Manhattan goes 4.7 miles per hour! In a city where you can’t even go nowhere fast, solutions have been few and far between, and made worse by a subway system that frequently breaks down.
That brings us to this week and the new New York state budget. One solution that’s always been waiting in the weeds is to charge all drivers a fee to drive into Manhattan. That’s not what ended up happening, but taxi drivers and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft weren’t so lucky. In an effort to lower congestion and raise money for the public transportation system, the budget calls for a $2.75 surcharge for companies like Uber and Lyft on each ride involving driving in Manhattan, while traditional taxi cabs will get hit with a $2.50 surcharge. Any company that offers carpooling services will have to pay $0.75 per rider for trips into, out of, or within Manhattan. It could be another headache for Uber, which just came out of a horrendous 2017 and has already had an extremely bad start to 2018.
Now, the question is who will actually pay those fees! The bill goes to the companies and the taxi commission, but it’s always possible that the move will ultimately result in more expensive rides for customers. That’s what’s happened before in some of the other parts of the nation that have tried this idea — Chicago and Philadelphia charge similar fees, while Massachusetts and Oregon have statewide fees in place. All of those are less expensive than New York’s, though, so we’ll have to see if Uber and Lyft really do pass that extra $2.75 to the rest of us, or if they’ll willing to split the difference. Otherwise, braving the foot traffic might start looking more and more attractive!
This story was originally published at Here’s Why Uber and Lyft Might Get a Little More Expensive in New York City