NYC taxi drivers caught in crossfire of MTA and Curb fee dispute

A feud between a company that runs the credit card readers for taxi meters and the MTA has the New York Taxi Workers Alliance fed up again with congestion pricing.

"This is just ridiculous. Like, we need adults in this playground," said Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director Of The NYTWA.

Curb, one of the taxi-tech firms that runs the credit card readers for the taxi meters, would be responsible for collecting the congestion surcharge of $1.25 for taxis and $2.50 For Uber And Lyft per trip when driving south of 60th Street in Manhattan.

"The credit card revenue that the driver earns for the day goes through these vendors and the vendors then deduct the taxes from that revenue and paid over to the MTA," said Desai.


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The problem, however, is that Curb wants to charge the MTA a service fee to add that per-trip toll. But the MTA is refusing, saying that if it has to pay a fee, then the drivers won’t be included in the reduced toll and will instead be subject to paying the full $15 a day, out of their own pocket.

"There are a lot of taxes and fees that are already collected through these meters," said MTA CEO and Chair Janno Lieber. "It's been done before, so there's no reason this should be different."

In a statement to FOX 5 NY, Amos Tamam, the CEO of Curb said: "Curb is actively in a typical agreement review cycle and cooperating with the MTA to ensure a seamless resolution. We have always been a compliant partner, seasoned at working with various government regulators and entities. Curb is dedicated to collecting and distributing fees and tolls with the utmost responsibility and precision. Hence as a result, there is a significant cost associated with the technology, manpower and infrastructure needed to collect and reconcile the mandated Congestion Toll Zones fees on behalf of the MTA. Therefore, it is reasonable for these costs to be acknowledged and for Curb to be compensated for these efforts, either now or in the future.

While we surfaced the substantial cost for Curb to collect and reconcile these fees, we have made it clear late last week to the appropriate parties that we have chosen not to derail the process based on our concerns. We will move forward with implementation and address the associated cost at a later date. Much of this has been noted and translated in the redline contract that we sent to the MTA last week. There is no hold-up; it is just a matter of paperwork."

"The MTA and Curb, these vendors need to figure it out, they shouldn't be squeezing the drivers in the middle," said Desai.