Earlier this month, New York City taxi cab drivers protested at the Capitol in opposition of the congestion surcharge placed on yellow and green cabs by the state. The congestion surcharge would add an extra $2.50 on every trip for yellow cabs and an extra $2.75 for green cabs.
Protests began at noon as a caravan of taxis circled the Capitol honking their horns for about half an hour. More than 50 protesters then regrouped at the entrance of the Capitol in protest holding signs and chanting “No more tax on drivers backs” among other things. The protesters then went inside to the Great Western Staircase to speak to the press.
The New York Taxi Workers Association says taxi drivers have hit rough times as their income has dropped 40 percent in recent years and this surcharge could see those incomes drop another 30 percent. This has led to the drivers to call it the “Suicide” Surcharge as eight taxi drivers have already committed suicide in the past year due to financial despair.
The surcharge is being placed to reduce congestion in the in the Central Business District of Manhattan as well as to generate more funds for the MTA. There is already a 50 cent surcharge currently in place on taxi drivers going into the business district. Since 2009 Taxi Cab drivers have contributed almost $1 billion to the MTA.
Yellow and Green cabs were already paying a 50 cent surcharge prior to the new congestion surcharge. They are urging the governor and legislators to look to other industries to help pay for the MTA reorganization that is needed.