To keep it straight, take it in three bites: New York City’s new minimum wage for drivers, New York State’s new surcharge on rides, and a trio of lawsuits swirling around both.
- What happened: New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission signed off on a rule in December requiring that drivers for app-based ride-hailing services Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., Juno and Via earn at least $17.22 an hour.
- What led to it: It’s part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to boost workers’ wages and cap the rapid growth of the ride-for-hire platforms to reduce traffic congestion.
- Costs and benefits: Uber passengers will pay more, though the company wouldn’t say how much more, and it isn’t clear whether the other app-based ride services will follow suit. Drivers get a more dependable wage, though Uber said Friday it will narrow some perks as a result. New Yorkers navigating the streets by car, whether behind the wheel or otherwise, may eventually see less gridlock, but efforts to impose congestion pricing on personal vehicles are stuck in traffic.
- What happened: A New York State law imposed surcharges on rides below 96th Street in Manhattan.
- What led to it: A state panel last year proposed a congestion-pricing plan affecting all motorists entering Manhattan’s central business district. This is what survived. As important, it’s intended to provide as much as $400 million a year to the city’s ailing subway system.
- Costs and benefits: If you hail one of New York City’s limited fleet of about 13,600 yellow cabs and 3,566 green taxis, or certain other for-hire vehicles, you’ll pay a surcharge of $2.50 on top of the ride’s base rate. If you call one of the app-based services like Uber or Lyft, the surcharge is $2.75 or, if it’s a group ride, 75 cents.