Though some might not think so, by and large it seems that congestion pricing has been a success in London. Mayor Bloomberg, as part of his PlaNYC, a comprehensive look ahead at developing New York as an environmentally sustainable city, proposed the implementation of congestion pricing for Manhattan, to the tune of eight bucks. Here’s what the cabbies think.
BOCAR Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Ghana Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Kitchen worker
I think they need to do something. We need a solution because the traffic is getting worse and worse, but I don’t think that his plan is the right one. People will just pay the eight dollars. It won’t stop anyone from driving into the city. But we do need to do something. My plan would be to restrict the delivery times for trucks — 7pm to 7am — that would help.
Where I hailed him: Murray Hill Where he hails from: Dominican Republic Years as a cabbie: 8
Previous profession: Warehouse worker
It’s a good idea. I think it will make it more convenient — for someone like you in a cab, too. Sometimes the traffic is so bad you sit and you aren’t moving at all but you are paying. So, this is a good idea. The eight dollars might be a little too much — maybe they should make it more like six dollars.
Where I hailed him: Lower East Side Where he hails from: Colombia Years as a cabbie: 28 Previous profession: Parking attendant
They should have done it a long time ago. They should charge 20. In Colombia the way they do it sometimes is alternate the numbers of the cabs that can drive — one day the odd numbers drive, the next day the even numbers drive. That could work too.
Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Policeman
I can understand why this charge would piss some people off. If you drive into the city five times a week, you’re paying an extra thousand dollars every year. But maybe I make a thousand more next year, you know? From the people coming in from the train stations. The taxi drivers... We could use the extra business.
Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Ghana Years as a cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Graduate student
In my line of work, I’ve got to like the congestion charge. Well, at least I’ve got to want to give it a try. It’s in my best interest to get around the city as quickly as possible. If I can pick up more fares during a shift, then I clearly benefit. As far as the eight-dollar charge, I’m already paying more than that coming through the tunnels every day. We’ll only have to pay the congestion charge once, I think. It seems like it’s working in London too, but that’s such a tiny area compared to the vast land below 86th, right? Or maybe it just seems like it. I support giving the charge a try.
Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Russia Years as a cabbie: 15 Previous profession: Contractor
There may be congestion charge, there may not. I will still be cab driver. That’s it. That’s all I have to say.