By Amanda Weston
Catching a ride in New York just got more expensive, and passengers aren't the only ones complaining.
"It's a problem for the drivers," Aleksey Medvedovskiy, the president of NYC Taxi Group, told Cheddar Wednesday. "It's a problem for the general public."
As of early February, the new surcharge is $2.50 per fare for taxis and $2.75 for trips with ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft.
The new fee applies to rides passing through central Manhattan, the site of significant traffic issues. Passengers are responsible for paying the surcharge ー but drivers don't share in any of the profit. The proceeds in their entirety will be directed to the MTA to improve public transportation.
Medvedovskiy said he's dubious about this method.
"I don't think congestion pricing will decrease the amount of traffic in Manhattan," Medvedovskiy said. "I think there should be other solutions, other alternatives besides charging $2.50 and $2.75 for a passenger and passing it off to the state."
While riders will be the ones shelling out the extra cash, Medvedovskiy said drivers are "100 percent" upset.
He added drivers already are forced to fight for passengers, who may now consider taxis a less attractive option, given the extra cost. But his biggest concern, Medvedovskiy said, is the lack of downtime for drivers.
"It's the cars sitting, not servicing the public," Medvedovskiy said. "The drivers don't want to drive because they don't make enough money."
For full interview click here.