23K+ Uber drivers send email to MTA to protest congestion pricing

Yellow cabs and Uber car drive through Times Square
Yellow cabs and Uber car drive through Times Square Photo credit Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Thousands of Uber drivers have emailed the MTA to protest the proposed congestion pricing fees and the MTA’s suggestion for drivers to become bus operators.

Plans for the implementation of congestion pricing are moving along. Once in place, cars will be charged a fee for entering Manhattan below 96th Street, leaving taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers footing the bill.

Transit officials recently suggested a career change for cab drivers burdened by the proposed toll, promising special preference for drivers to become bus operators. But over 23,000 Uber workers disagree with the idea.

“There's so much more to it,” Uber driver Ivan Ventura told 1010 WINS. “The MTA makes it seem easy. They’re like, ‘Oh, well come drive a bus.’ You know how hard it is to drive in the bus?”

Ventura, who has been an Uber driver since 2014, added that the solution is not realistic and leaves out many people, like those who don’t have the education requirement.

“So what happens to the thousands of immigrants that drive cars that don't have a high school diploma that can't work for the MTA?” Ventura said.

Passengers in any for-hire vehicle are already paying an MTA tax of up to $2.75 and Ventura wants to know where all of that money is going.

“The MTA should just get better management of their money,” Ventura said. “Give me a billion dollars, I guarantee I'm still gonna have it.”

The MTA has continued to push for congestion pricing to pass, citing its many benefits which include reducing traffic and providing funding for mass transit.

"We encourage drivers and their representatives to share their views with the public and the project sponsors by participating in the public hearings or submitting comments for the record," an MTA spokesperson said.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress