Brooklyn Boro

Make online shoppers pay for subway repairs, says Brooklyn assemblymember

February 12, 2019 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle

A Brooklyn elected official has proposed a $10-a-day licensing fee for drivers of Lyft, Uber and other ride-hailing apps and a $3 fee for each package delivery within the city from an online retailer to help pay for the $40 billion needed to fix the city’s subway system.

These two ideas, plus an end to Manhattanites’ partial exemption from the city’s garage tax, were part of a package bill that Assemblymember Robert Carroll introduced in Albany last week, according to City & State. While congestion pricing is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s preferred way of raising the money to fix the transit system, “other dedicated revenue streams would be required for the MTA to actually put [New York City Transit President Andrew] Byford’s plan into effect,” City & State reported.

Carroll assumes that ride-hail app drivers would decrease in number by about one quarter as a result of the fee, but the assemblyman believes that will reduce traffic congestion, City & State said.

In an op-ed quoted by Streetsblog, Carroll affirmed his support for Cuomo’s congestion pricing proposal, but added that “Uber and Lyft need to be regulated!

“If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, you will have to pay a $10 fee when you log onto each app before you can start your day,” he wrote. “With over 100,000 app-based drivers, this could raise almost a million dollars a day on busy days and will weed out bad drivers and disincentivize others who realize it is no longer worth driving for Uber or Lyft.”

As far as his fee on package delivery is concerned, Carroll said his proposed $3 charge will apply to all businesses, big or small: “Jeff Bezos, you don’t get off scot-free. The state should institute a shipping fee on all internet purchases, from Amazon to Fresh Direct.”

City & State believes that the end of the garage-tax loophole would be the easiest case to make. “Currently,” writes Carroll in his op-ed, “if you own a car in Manhattan, you get your monthly parking garage taxes waived – unlike drivers in the other boroughs.”

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