Advertisement

NYC rideshare, taxi passengers bracing wallets for double-barrel fees as drivers worry about income crash: ‘Gonna kill us’

We’re about to get taken for a ride — twice!

Big Apple taxi passengers have been quietly paying a congestion price fee for years — and now another fee is about to be piled on when the full pricing plan comes into effect this summer, The Post has learned.

The double-barrel cash grab could add more than $5 to many rides — and drivers are fearing their income is about to crash.

The double-barrel cash grab could add more than $5 to many rides. REUTERS
The double-barrel cash grab could add more than $5 to many rides. REUTERS

“The one they put on years ago is hurting the business. It’s gonna be worse now,” said Destiny Maduka, a father of two who’s driven a hack for 22 years.

“This one they are adding is gonna kill us.”

Since 2019, every yellow cab ride has had a $2.50 congestion fee slapped on — while trips using app-based car services such as Uber and Lyft, have had a $2.75 fee.

The toll applies to any non-shared trip that starts, ends, or travels through Manhattan south of 96th Street.

Now, the final phase of the controversial new congestion pricing plan will stack an additional fee of $1.25 on traditional cabs and and $2.50 on app-based rides.

This could lead to a total fee as high as $5.25 for rides starting or passing through the affected parts of Manhattan.

The latest phase of congestion pricing is set to kick in by mid-June, which will formally impose the bitterly contested $15 toll hike for all cars entering Manhattan below 60th Street during daytime hours.

Cabs will not have to pay the $15 fee, but riders will foot the bill for the smaller, double-barrel ride fees for any ride that traverses the designated zones, an MTA spokesperson told The Post Friday.

The latest phase of congestion pricing is set to kick in by mid-June, which will introduce a $15 toll hike for all cars entering Manhattan below 60th Street during daytime hours. Christopher Sadowski
The latest phase of congestion pricing is set to kick in by mid-June, which will introduce a $15 toll hike for all cars entering Manhattan below 60th Street during daytime hours. Christopher Sadowski

Drivers say the multiple layers of fees will be hard on an industry still finding its post-pandemic footing.

Maduka said the added pressure makes him want to “run away from New York.”

“New York is not for people like us anymore,” he said with a laugh.

Another cab driver, Abdul Isaiah, said he’s still feeling the effects of the 2019 surcharge.

“I lost customers and never got them back. Even up to today customers are talking about it because they feel it too,” the married father of four told The Post.

“I heard they are going to enforce another one and we are still complaining about the last one. I didn’t think it was right then and I don’t think it’s right now.”

Most Uber drivers The Post approached Friday declined to comment, but one who didn’t want to share his name said any increased pressure on their bottom line would be hard to bear.

“We already don’t make that much money in general, and it’s gonna be bad for Uber Drivers. We’re gonna have less passengers,” the driver said.

Despite the fees, ridesharing behemoth Uber has unapologetically endorsed the Big Apple’s congestion toll proposal.

“Congestion that slows travel times and frustrates riders and drivers is bad for business. In fact, our top cities are ones where robust public transportation options serve as the backbone of a daily commute,” Uber wrote in a company blog post last year.

The MTA on Friday told the post that the current cab fees have raised a significant amount of money for the authority, which has been spent to upgrade mass transit.

The fees have raised nearly $1.5 billion from 2019 to 2023, and have gone toward the MTA’s Subway Action Plan and outer borough train service, they said.

The New York State Legislature signed the congestion pricing plan into law in 2019, mandating that the program must raise $1 billion each year to help fund improvements to the city’s public transit system to help it better serve its nearly 4 million daily riders.