Cab Drivers: Congestion Pricing Surcharge Is A 'Suicide Tax'

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Taxi drivers are not pleased with another surcharge that went into effect this weekend for cars entering parts of Manhattan.

They’ve nicknamed it the “suicide tax” and took to the streets Sunday in protest, chanting things like “stop killing drivers!”

New York Taxi Alliance President Bhairavi Desai says the latest surcharge that went into effect Saturday will result in a 30 percent drop in revenue for cabbies.

“Ninety percent of the trips for yellow cabs are in the congestion zone. Almost every single trip is going to be taxed,” Desai said. “How on Earth are people expected to survive?”

The zone is anywhere south of 96th Street. It’s an extra $2.50 for yellow cabs and $2.75 for app-based companies – though the charge doesn’t apply for app-based group rides like Uber Pool.

“They got themselves a carve-out that says if the passenger requests, just requests, a group ride, the company does not have to match them,” Desai said, calling it an attempt to put the yellow cab industry out of business.