Uber's Josh Gold on congestion pricing and how to fix New York City's garbage problem
If you’ve lived in New York, suffered a subway delay, or wondered why trash in the city is a literal hot mess, this is for you
This weekend I’m excited to be running a delightfully wonky interview with Josh Gold, senior director for policy and communications at Uber. Gold has been at Uber for seven years working on a variety of regulatory and legislative issues. But more importantly—and the reason why I invited him for this interview—Gold is a lifelong New Yorker with a deep knowledge of city politics and passion for urban planning challenges like congestion pricing, public transport, and the hot mess that is New York City garbage pickup.
New York is the most congested city in the U.S., with approximately 700,000 vehicles entering central Manhattan each day before the pandemic. From 2010 to 2018, average vehicle speeds in central Manhattan slowed 23%, from 9.1 miles per hour to 7 mph. In 2019, the state approved the first phase of a plan to charge drivers entering the busiest part of the city, with revenue going to fund local and regional public transport. That first phase introduced a congestion surcharge on taxis and for-hire vehicles (FHV) like Ubers and Lyfts, but has yet to levy congestion fees on other vehicle types like personal cars and delivery trucks.
Gold and I chatted about why New York City desperately needs congestion pricing, what the holdup in implementation has been, and why Uber spent $2 million to support a policy that makes its rides more expensive. Plus garbage! If you’ve ever lived in New York, suffered a subway delay, or wondered why one of the biggest cities in the world leaves mountains of trash all over its streets, this is the interview for you.
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