According to Charles Komanoff, an expert on congestion pricing modeling and consultant to the taxi industry, “For-hire vehicles… shouldn’t be an afterthought to congestion pricing. They deserve their own policy lane. Since they’re closely regulated, we can devise a granular congestion charge that is, frankly, brilliant.”
Komanoff’s five-part plan includes the following:
- Repeal the MTA surcharges that since early 2019 have collected $2.50 per taxi ride ($2.75 for Ubers and Lyfts) that touches the Manhattan taxi zone (everything south of 96th Street).
- Determine how much money the surcharges have been depositing with the MTA and make that the new scheme’s revenue floor.
- Charge each FHV passenger trip a set rate – more in daytime, less at night – for every minute the vehicle is traveling in the Manhattan taxi zone. Set the rate so the total annual revenue equals that from the surcharge.
- No entry fee for FHVs, since that function will be performed by part 3.
- Additionally charge Uber and Lyft for each minute their vehicles are anywhere in the zone without a passenger, to discourage vehicle stockpiling in the congested CBD.
“Charging the for-hires for each passenger-minute in the Manhattan taxi zone is quintessential congestion pricing – and more effective against Manhattan congestion than the MTA’s one-size-fits-all FHV surcharge,” noted Komanoff.
Komanoff has also suggested that ALL private vehicles be charged a “by-the-minute” surcharge fee when they are in NYC’s Central Business District.
Source: Streets Blog NYC