An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to establishing
the green transition authority; to amend the tax law, in relation to
establishing a for-hire vehicle improvement surcharge; and making an
appropriation therefor
To create a $1 surcharge on all rideshare trips, which would fund the
Green Transition Authority. This new authority would aid rideshare driv-
ers in purchasing electric and/or wheelchair accessible vehicles and
eventually help them transition from rideshare driving to green jobs.
Once those main purposes are complete, the Authority is allowed to aid
in any other ways to move the State towards its CLCPA goals.
Section 1 establishes this act to be known as the "Green Transition
Authority Act."
Section 2 sets out legislative findings, including that the for-hire
vehicle industry is at the center of three interlinked issues - for-hire
vehicle driver poverty, climate change, and wheelchair accessibility. In
response to this, Section 2 declares that the state must create the
Green Transition Authority, which will have the power to combat these
Section 3 amends Article 8 of the public authorities law by adding a new
title 7.
§ 1750 of the new title prescribes definitions.
§ 1751 of the new title creates the green transition authority.
§ 1752 of the new title lays out the membership of the authority and how
they shall be appointed.
§ 1753 of the new title describes the purposes, powers, and duties of
the new authority. Among its duties is that the authority shall not
give, grant, loan, or gift money to any initiative that furthers depend-
ence on fossil fuels.
§ 1754 of the new title delineates further powers of the authority,
including administering a co-investment program to aid for-hire vehicle
drivers in purchasing electric or wheelchair accessible vehicles, fund-
ing the development of infrastructure to support electric and wheelchair
accessible vehicles, and helping for-hire vehicle drivers transition
into public service or green jobs once-zero-emission and wheelchair-ac-
cessible vehicle transition goals are met. Additionally, the authority
will have the power to collect data from for-hire vehicle companies on
the number of wheelchair accessible and electric vehicles operating in
each county/region and the number of trips they are taking, which they
can use to publish studies setting goals and standards to transition the
industry to zero emissions and more wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Furthermore, they can convene a taskforce to assess the availability of
zero-emissions and wheelchair-accessible vehicles and work with govern-
ment authorities and automakers to make both more accessible. Lastly,
the authority will have the power to fund programs to increase paratran-
sit reliability and access across the state.
§ 1755 of the new title establishes the green transition fund, which
will be money received by the authority pursuant to the provisions of
section twelve hundred ninety-nine-ff of the tax law in accordance with
the provisions thereof. This money shall be used for programs adminis-
tered by the authority.
§ 1756 of the new title outlines accounts and funding of the authority.
§ 1757 of the new title exempts the authority from taxes, assessments,
and certain fees.
§ 1758 of the new title requires the authority to be subject to an annu-
al audit and report by the state comptroller.
§ 1759 of the new title describes the labor and procurement stands of
the authority. These requirements include that any project done by the
authority must be a public work project and use materials produced in
whole or substantial part in the US. Workers must be paid prevailing
wages consistent with article nine of the labor law for building
services work. No project should result in the partial or full displace-
ment of workers or loss of current positions or the transfer of existing
duties to contractors. For procurement, the authority must use a system
that includes a best-value contracting framework that requires offerors
to include aspects such as an employment plan and a commitment to create
high-quality jobs for disadvantaged or underrepresented individuals to
the greatest extent possible.
§ 1760 of the new title gives the authority power to issue bonds and
§ 1761 of the new title allows the authority to establish reserve funds.
§ 1762 of the new title exempts the authority from paying taxes on its
bonds and notes.
§ 1763 of the new title makes the authority's bonds and notes legal
investments for fiduciaries.
§ 1764 of the new title allows the state to require the redemption of
§ 1765 of the new title determines the rights and remedies of bondhold-
ers and noteholders.
§ 1766 of the new title absolves the state of liability on the authori-
ty's bonds and notes.
Section 4 amends the tax law to add a new article 29-E. § 1299-aa of the
new article determines definitions.
§ 1299-bb of the new article imposes a surcharge of $1 on all for-hire
vehicle transportation trips.
§ 1299-cc of the new article explains who has the liability for this
surcharge. The for-hire vehicle company is liable, but the surcharge
shall be passed on to the passenger.
§ 1299-dd of the new article provides for the returns and payment of
said surcharge, from those liable for the surcharge to the commissioner
51299-ee of the new article sets forth which records must be kept by
those liable for the surcharge.
§ 1299-ff of the new article requires the deposit and disposition of all
revenue collected from the surcharge daily with such responsible banks,
banking houses, or trust companies.
Section 5 appropriates $10,000,000 to the green transition authority
from the general fund.
Section 6 provides that the act shall take effect immediately.
The Green Transition Authority would create programs to help for-hire
vehicle (FHV) drivers buy zero-emission and wheelchair-accessible vehi-
cles and to expand paratransit access across the state, as well as to
create more electric vehicle charging stations. Furthermore, once the
zero-emission and wheelchair-accessible vehicle transition goals are
met, the Authority will have the power to invest in other projects, such
as helping FHV drivers transition into green jobs. All of this will be
done without raising the income tax; funding will instead come from a $1
surcharge on all FHV trips, mirroring the already existing surcharges on
taxis and FHVs, like the Black Car Fund. We can help New York State's
rideshare driver workforce, which is predominantly immigrants and people
of color, escape poverty; create unprecedented mobility for New Yorkers
who use wheelchairs; clean our air; and meet climate goals through a
just, green transition for New York State.
Rideshare driver earnings are in the lowest 10% of all occupations in
the United States. This led the City of New York to establish the first-
ever pay regulations for app-based drivers, but long hours and low pay
remains the norm for most of the for-hire vehicle industry's 90% immi-
grant, predominantly people of color workforce of over 84,000 active
drivers in NYC. The situation is even worse outside across the rest of
the state, where driver pay is entirely unregulated.
In addition to these issues with workers' rights, New York's fleet of
rideshare vehicles is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that
drive climate change. In New York City alone, a fleet of 109,000 gaso-
line-fueled rideshare vehicles puts 1.4 million tons of CO2 into the
atmosphere every year, a 62% increase from 2013 to 2018 as the FHV fleet
Lastly, as of 2023, there were only around 5,900 wheelchair-accessible
vehicles (WAVs) out of 101,000 FHVs in NYC, meaning that those who need
these vehicles often have long wait times. However, the paratransit
system in NYC and across the state is lacking, with no elevators in over
70% of MTA stations as of 2022 and a scarcity of reliable transit
systems outside the city, let alone paratransit systems. All of this
means that those in wheelchairs and with mobility impairments have a
much harder time getting anywhere on public transit, and often cannot
rely on FHVs either.
These intersecting crises - climate change, workers' rights, and disa-
bility access - mean that we must act now. The State, along with many
municipalities throughout, have long promised to uphold the goals of the
CLCPA, expand paratransit services, and protect workers. All these
promises continue to go unmet. None of these issues will go away on
their own, and it is on the State to combat these worsening issues.
New bill
This bill would cost the state $10,000,000 as an appropriation to the
green transition authority from the general fund, but it is expected to
generate over $260 million from NYC-based trips alone for the authority
to use. This bill would reduce the costly burden of climate change by
transitioning for-hire vehicles to electric ones, and would also give
for-hire vehicle drivers the option to transition to jobs that are high-
er paying and better foròthe environment, all of which would save the
state money on things like health insurance and social assistance
This act shall take effect immediately.