ALBANY — Uber is looking to put the brakes on a modified congestion pricing plan put forward this week by the state Assembly Democrats.
The ride-sharing service on Friday was launching a new television ad trashing the Assembly’s plan to raise money for the cash-strapped MTA by charging Uber riders in the outer-boroughs more in fees than those who take yellow cabs in Manhattan.
According to Uber, customers in the outerboroughs, who in many cases don’t have easy access to mass transit, would pay three times as much than someone taking a yellow cab in Manhattan.
The Assembly Democratic proposal would add a $2.75-per-trip charge onto for-hire vehicles like Uber and Lyft for trips starting or ending below 96th St. in Manhattan.
There’d also be a $1-per-trip surcharge on trips in the other parts of the city. Yellow and green cabs would see a 50-cent-per-trip surcharge imposed only in the central business zone.
Uber says the $1 per trip fee in the outerboroughs would be on top of the 8.75% sales tax Uber and Lyft already must charge.
“Instead of fully funding needed subway repairs and reducing traffic congestion, the Assembly’s plan will unfairly burden outerborough riders who depend on apps like Uber to get around,” the new ad says.
It goes on to say that “Uber supports comprehensive congestion pricing that is fair and progressive.”
The ad buy is for six-figures, an Uber official said. The ad will run for at least a week starting Friday night on New York City cable and broadcast TV, the official said.
State budget negotiations have heated up this week. A new budget is due by April 1.
Assembly Democratic spokesman Michael Whyland defended the Assembly plan. “(Uber) needs safe roads and bridges for their customers as well,” he said.
The taxi industry has also said it shouldn’t be hit with a new fee because yellow cabs for years have charged 50-cent per trip on every fare that has sent $600 million to the MTA. Little of the money raised by the sales tax paid by Uber has gone to the MTA, the yellow cab industry has argued.
Taxi representatives say they have also paid millions of dollars to the city for medallions that allow them to operate, something the app-based services like Uber do not.
The Assembly Dem plan also rejects Gov. Cuomo’s Fix NYC panel recommendation to impose an $11.52-per-trip on regular passenger vehicles in a designated Manhattan Central Business District. Uber has supported the Cuomo plan, which would only affect their drivers in the Manhattan zone.