New York City: Uber, Lyft and taxis step into the unknown

Ride-hail drivers will soon get a raise, the result of groundbreaking regulations that set a minimum wage for the app-based services. But that’s not the only change confronting the hired-car industry in the New Year.

Starting next month, a state- imposed congestion surcharge will make all rides more expensive in Manhattan below 96th Street. At the same time, fares for Juno, Lyft and Uber could be going up to cover the pay raise.

The congestion fee is projected to raise $400 million for mass transit. But while the surcharge—$2.50 per ride for cabs, $2.75 for app-based vehicles—is expected to depress ridership, how much it will reduce congestion is uncertain.

“We really don’t know how it will work out,” Meera Joshi, head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, said at a hearing last week. She wondered if higher fares will encourage people to bring their personal car into Manhattan.