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Ubers and taxis in NYC are about to get a price hike

Written by
Clayton Guse

Catching a ride in Manhattan is about to get slightly more expensive.

On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature approved a $168 billion budget for the fiscal year 2019, which includes a new surcharge for Ubers and taxis that operate in the busiest parts of the island. Under the updated measure, any rides taken below 96th Street in Manhattan with a for-hire vehicle service like Uber or Lyft will include an additional $2.75 fee, and taxi trips will come with a new $2.50 fee. Carpooling services operating in the area will see a modest surcharge of 75 cents.

The move comes a little more than two months after the Cuomo-appointed Fix NYC Advisory Panel issued a report advocating for congestion pricing in Manhattan’s Central Business District, which would require any and all drivers operating below 60th Street during the day to pay tolls ranging from $11.52 to $25.34. The new surcharge is not nearly as extensive as the proposals laid out in that report, but Cuomo asserted in a press conference over the weekend that it is just “phase one of the congestion pricing plan.”

The new surcharges will generate an estimated $415 million in annual revenue, according to the governor’s office. All that money will go straight into an MTA "lockbox" that will be put toward funding the authority’s Subway Action Plan. Conveniently enough, that figure accounts for almost exactly half of the plan’s $836 million price tag. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been quibbling for nearly a year about the city picking up the other half of its tab—De Blasio reportedly budged on Monday. 

The budget also includes a few other measures that will affect transportation in New York City, including 50 new bus lane enforcement cameras and a plan to install new safety infrastructure at Penn Station. But for most New Yorkers, tacking a couple bucks onto their Uber bill is the big-ticket item here. Here’s hoping that the cost of a MetroCard doesn’t go up as well (it almost certainly will next year). 

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