The fee for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA’s) e-Hail pilot, which lets customers book trips on-demand in taxis and FHVs, is expected to increase Aug. 1, but by less than originally sought. The current pilot offers unlimited trips at $2.75 per ride to 1,200 Access-A-Ride users, but the new plan seeks to triple the number of riders by limiting monthly trips numbers and raising the per-ride fee to $4. A $5 fee was initially sought but the MTA acquiesced after advocate protests.

The MTA says 6% of on-demand riders consume half of its $16 million budget. To accommodate more riders, the MTA says it must restructure the program. The 2,400 new customers will be randomly selected, able to book rides through taxi-app Arro and three new vendors – including The Drivers Cooperative.

The program will also be divided into two new categories: The “distance program” (25 trips/month at $45 per ride) and the “high-volume program” (40 trips/month at $30 per trip). Riders that exceed those quotas will have to pay out of pocket. MTA said it is open to amending the program as it gathers more data on user patterns.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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