Last Wednesday, rideshare drivers and supporters gathered outside MTA Headquarters to speak out against double taxation. As it stands, the congestion pricing plan would make rideshare drivers pay a second tax when we’ve already given $1 BILLION to the MTA in congestion fees. The MTA is putting yet another burden on hard-working drivers, and this plan could leave thousands of us without jobs.
As JFAW coalition leader Adalgisa Payero-Diarra put it, “We understand that the MTA needs money. But they cannot take advantage of rideshare drivers. We’re a vulnerable community in New York, we just want to pay rent and put food on the table for our families. We know why they’re enacting congestion pricing. But it’s unfair AND illegal to put these costs on drivers’ backs!”
The Congestion Pricing Now coalition also released a letter last week sharing several recommendations, including a clarification on how the plan should impact for-hire-vehicles. Instead of a flat per-day tax levied against rideshare drivers, the Congestion Pricing Now Coalition stated that a “per-ride surcharge” to be passed onto the customer was the best option to decrease congestion without unfairly burdening working-class, immigrant drivers.
“The solution for congestion in our streets is not for individual rideshare drivers in New York to shoulder the financial burden,” said Naomi Ogutu, President of the NYC Rideshare Club and Co-Chair of the Justice for App Workers coalition. “We are pleased that other environmental and community groups are coming to understand this. It’s a great step forward. Now, we want to see it in writing. It’s not too late for the MTA Review Board to step up and do the right thing for the tens of thousands of New York constituents who work as rideshare drivers. Drivers know that a regressive tax targeting immigrant and working-class New Yorkers isn’t the answer. The Review Board has the opportunity to find a fair solution that doesn’t target the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
Our fight isn’t over. We will not rest until the MTA and New York officials finally listen to drivers and our families!
Join us as we continue to take on the MTA and app companies, and make sure that hard-working drivers are NOT hit with a second tax!