Rideshare workers took over the sidewalk and streets in front of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s New York City offices (633 3rd Ave. in Manhattan) to urge the governor and the MTA to refrain from imposing what they deem as a double tax on them and their jobs.

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) said the city’s proposed Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program already assessed a congestion tax of $2.75 per trip on rideshare drivers in its first phase back in 2019. Now, an additional congestion tax as high as $23 per trip is on the table.

Cars that enter or remain in the CBD during peak hours would be electronically tolled and charged via E-ZPass or have toll bills mailed directly to the home address of a car’s registered owner.

This could come at a high cost to rideshare drivers––the IDG said this new tax would lead to a decrease of nearly 15,000 rideshare driver jobs.

“Today and ever since this congestion pricing conversation started, we started a petition,” Aziz Bah, a rideshare driver who serves as the IDG organizing director, told hundreds of drivers who took the day off to rally in front of the governor’s offices on Friday, June 2.

“Everyone can see the petition right here. To date, we’ve collected 10,596 signatures and growing, and we want to deliver this to the governor today because she needs to be aware of how this proposal is impacting drivers.”

With more protestors arriving even as he spoke, and other rideshare drivers honking in support of the strike as they drove past the site, Bah told the striking workers that congestion pricing in the proposed CBD program hit rideshare workers first because they were the most vulnerable.

“Please recognize the fact that we were the only, the only group that has been paying this tax since 2019,” he said. “And there is something important about our drivers, there is something actually very obvious when you look at the demographics here: We are all minorities. Is it by coincidence? Is it by coincidence that they picked that group—the minority group—to say you guys are going to pay an additional tax?

“That’s totally unfair, totally unfair, and that’s why we’re here.”

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