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Taxi Fee on Table in MTA Bailout

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Lawmakers in Albany are still trying to come up with a way to rescue the MTA, and prevent big fare hikes and service cuts. The latest idea: a 50 cent fee on all cab rides. The news has angered cabbies, who say the fee would hurt business. Bharavi Desai is with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance:

DESAI: We're not talking about a wealthy industry corporation or wealthy individuals. We're talking about working class people who labor 12 hour shifts who basically would suffer less tips and possibly fewer fares.

The original bailout plan of an eight percent fare increase, new bridge tolls, and a new payroll tax, has unraveled. Some suburban Senate Democrats now say the payroll tax would hurt businesses whose employees do not use the city's subways and buses. And Senate Democrats from Queens and Brooklyn are refusing to budge in their opposition to new tolls on East and Harlem River bridges.

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