New York City Cracks Down on Uber and Lyft

DooKey

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The NYC City Council passed a bill that requires Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers a minimum wage and placed a one-year moratorium on new for-hire vehicle licenses. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is going to conduct a study over the next year to determine if there should be a limit on the number of for-hire vehicle licenses. They claim they are doing this to fight street congestion, but I suspect it has more to do with the cab companies having politicians in their pockets. What say you, NYC [H] brothers and sisters? Are Uber and Lyft causing too much congestion?

But street congestion is not the only contentious issue here. This year, the question of how much drivers are and should be paid has been vigorously debated. Several academics have attempted to independently verify how much ride-hail drivers actually earn. Uber has quashed estimates that don’t jive with its official research. In the backdrop of all this debate, New York City drivers are suffering financially.
 
Twofold issue here:

1: Congestion is definitely up; I'm not going to outright blame Lyft/Uber, but there's certainly more traffic then there was just a few years ago.

2: The larger issue: Lyft/Uber are basically undercutting Taxi's/Limos, in large part because their "contracted workers" are exempt from minimum wage/benefits. As a result, you have a legal shitstorm brewing.

That's the real problem here: You can argue the gig-economy is really just a way for companies to avoid paying minimum wage and benefits, undercutting existing business. And those business are going to throw money at politicians to try and prevent it. The endgame is probably going to be re-defining what makes a contracted worker (similar to what California courts did), which would make Lyft/Uber cost about the same as the existing taxi/Limo options.
 
cant they just ban it in new york city? its useful in the rest of the state :/
 
Liberal enclave that NYC is; I'm very surprised they are not requiring Uber/Lyft drivers to purchase a taxi operators license. (of course most can't afford it) After all it is a freelance taxi service. They have heavily regulated the taxi business and Uber/Lyft gets a "free ride" ? :D
 
I know this is a strange comparison, but I recently visited a friend in Vancouver where there's a similar system in place as far as Taxis and medallions with a limit on how many medallions there are within the city. They also banned Uber/Lyft due to lobbying from the taxi companies and from my friend's experience, sometimes they have to wait hours for a taxi in certain places, and sometimes taxis will just pass you or refuse to take you longer distances. It's also hard to find taxi vans in certain areas if you have a large group. They do allow some call ahead and scheduling but not sure the rules. Definitely would help to have Uber/Lyft to circumvent some of those nuisances
 
So NYC would just rather them go back to being underground gypsy cab drivers?
As opposed to above ground gypsy cab drivers with an app? Regulation exists for a reason. If the cost of compliance for a cab is more than an Uber driver, there's a reason. The cure is to either reevaluate what the cabs must do to be in compliance or enforce the same requirements on Uber/Lyft drivers.
 
As opposed to above ground gypsy cab drivers with an app? Regulation exists for a reason. If the cost of compliance for a cab is more than an Uber driver, there's a reason. The cure is to either reevaluate what the cabs must do to be in compliance or enforce the same requirements on Uber/Lyft drivers.
I agree with you on the compliance for sure. I didn't get this before, but I do now due to working with some people who do Uber on the side in their spare time. I don't remember all the details now, but one guy I work with never got his car inspected at all. He somehow took a co-workers paperwork for the inspection and doctored it as necessary, then sent it to Uber and he was cleared to go. His car isn't the most reliable and he has check engine lights and issues every few weeks. I don't think he has had an issue with people in his car, but still that's BS. Uber must not be really checking this stuff very well, and this is not up to the same standards that the cab companies need to meet.
 
Twofold issue here:

1: Congestion is definitely up; I'm not going to outright blame Lyft/Uber, but there's certainly more traffic then there was just a few years ago.
More likely it's related to the 5% population increase since 2012. Aren't uber/lyft drivers typically people with existing vehicles using the ride sharing services to make money? If that's the case, they really aren't adding a significant amount to congestion as these cars were already on the road.

2: The larger issue: Lyft/Uber are basically undercutting Taxi's/Limos, in large part because their "contracted workers" are exempt from minimum wage/benefits. As a result, you have a legal shitstorm brewing.

That's the real problem here: You can argue the gig-economy is really just a way for companies to avoid paying minimum wage and benefits, undercutting existing business. And those business are going to throw money at politicians to try and prevent it. The endgame is probably going to be re-defining what makes a contracted worker (similar to what California courts did), which would make Lyft/Uber cost about the same as the existing taxi/Limo options.

Given that NYC limits taxi licenses, and the cab companies like it this way as it limits competition. NYC taxi licenses sell for big money. $1.3 million per taxi a few years ago. Cab companies pay crap as well. According to the bureau of labor statistics, an average NYC Uber driver earns $90K vs a taxi drivers $35K. This is why you see the explosion of ride sharing in the city.
https://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/28/uber-may-be-tripling-cab-driver-salaries.html
 
Road congestion is a real thing in NYC, and why so many people use public transportation. The increase of traffic due to uber/lift and other ride services is a real concern. The other issue is that these ride services may have taken some of the control away from the state regarding the ability to micromanage a once complete monopoly over the cab industry. Much like AirBnB took lashes from NYC, it was only time until ride services got theirs as well. Look to see more government reach (overreach?) in the future regarding these services, which will continue to stifle competition.
 
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butt hurt incumbents using government to stop competition. where have i heard that before?

Uber is the country's, and now likely the world's, largest unlicensed gypsy cab operation.

The entire business plan is to use wallstreet funding and political lobbying clout to flout local laws and ordinances about fares and congestion while charging rates designed to destroy licensed transportation businesses and then institute monopoly level pricing all while driving down the wages of the drivers.

Given that NYC limits taxi licenses, and the cab companies like it this way as it limits competition. NYC taxi licenses sell for big money. $1.3 million per taxi a few years ago. Cab companies pay crap as well. According to the bureau of labor statistics, an average NYC Uber driver earns $90K vs a taxi drivers $35K. This is why you see the explosion of ride sharing in the city.
https://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/28/uber-may-be-tripling-cab-driver-salaries.html

The super expensive medallion issue only grew in the last 20-ish years due to older changes about the ownership structure and transferring of the medallions. Financial interests began speculating on them which drove the price up and cabbies who could borrow to buy one treated it as a retirement nest egg. Pay off the loan and then sell the appreciated medallion on to the next guy.
 
Traffic has increased in every city in the US. This has nothing to do with Uber. It's because there are simply more people than there used to be.

I would also suggest there is longer lasting cars also that add to it :) Thank you better educated engineers :)
 
I remember how from the days of the earliest smart phones New York cab companies wanted to be able to use an app that would allow people to easily put out a general hail for cab so the nearest one could just drive right up and get the fare. The city blocked that hard.
 
I know this is a strange comparison, but I recently visited a friend in Vancouver where there's a similar system in place as far as Taxis and medallions with a limit on how many medallions there are within the city. They also banned Uber/Lyft due to lobbying from the taxi companies and from my friend's experience, sometimes they have to wait hours for a taxi in certain places, and sometimes taxis will just pass you or refuse to take you longer distances. It's also hard to find taxi vans in certain areas if you have a large group. They do allow some call ahead and scheduling but not sure the rules. Definitely would help to have Uber/Lyft to circumvent some of those nuisances

-yes it's due to lobyists.. taxi groups donate tons of money to local political parties
-the mini-van taxi's don't actually fit more people, just more luggage or a wheelchair etc
-yes getting a taxi here can be awful
-yes they often just ignore you
-the taxi companies have their own app (eCab) but it's not too reliable.. have had taxis accept the fare then never show up.. or even charge your credit card even though you paid cash (took months of badgering them to get that money back)
-yes we need uber/lyft badly
 
seems to me the real problem with NYC is lack of better options.. if they funded their public transit better and made it more attractive (less dingy) more people would just use that then sit in traffic
 
More likely it's related to the 5% population increase since 2012. Aren't uber/lyft drivers typically people with existing vehicles using the ride sharing services to make money? If that's the case, they really aren't adding a significant amount to congestion as these cars were already on the road.

Just because they have a car doesn't mean they would normally be driving it. Lot's of people in New York City own a car, but most of them aren't driving within the city with it.

Given that NYC limits taxi licenses, and the cab companies like it this way as it limits competition. NYC taxi licenses sell for big money. $1.3 million per taxi a few years ago. Cab companies pay crap as well. According to the bureau of labor statistics, an average NYC Uber driver earns $90K vs a taxi drivers $35K. This is why you see the explosion of ride sharing in the city.
https://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/28/uber-may-be-tripling-cab-driver-salaries.html

Keep in mind, the reason Uber drivers make more is volume; their per-customer fare is much lower, and falls below minimum wage and other work requirements because contracted workers are exempt as they aren't considered employees. This is turn allows Uber and Lyft to undercut the competition.

Look, no one is going to argue the taxi and limo system doesn't have problems. But there's a serious cost to Uber and Lyft undercutting the competition.
 
seems to me the real problem with NYC is lack of better options.. if they funded their public transit better and made it more attractive (less dingy) more people would just use that then sit in traffic

I can't tell if that's a joke or not. More people use public transportation in NY then pretty much anywhere else.

Now yes: It's been badly underfunded for a while now, and yes, 100 year old infrastructure tends to break more often then we'd like, but for the most part, the system works. The real issue is NY decided for better or worse to stretch repairs over decades in order to keep things operating rather then shut down entire lines for a year to implement wholesale fixes in one go.
 
Uber is the country's, and now likely the world's, largest unlicensed gypsy cab operation.

The entire business plan is to use wallstreet funding and political lobbying clout to flout local laws and ordinances about fares and congestion while charging rates designed to destroy licensed transportation businesses and then institute monopoly level pricing all while driving down the wages of the drivers.



The super expensive medallion issue only grew in the last 20-ish years due to older changes about the ownership structure and transferring of the medallions. Financial interests began speculating on them which drove the price up and cabbies who could borrow to buy one treated it as a retirement nest egg. Pay off the loan and then sell the appreciated medallion on to the next guy.


damn. lobby lobby lobby!
 

damn. lobby lobby lobby!

$200k to $1m.... that seems to coincide with proper inflation level increases amirite?

Fuck these stupid liberals cities that empower government to fight competition. I'm glad to not live in these hell holes -and I'm glad that (if anything) people are realizing this and leaving areas like California in droves.
 

damn. lobby lobby lobby!

$200k to $1m.... that seems to coincide with proper inflation level increases amirite?

Fuck these stupid liberals cities that empower government to fight competition. I'm glad to not live in these hell holes -and I'm glad that (if anything) people are realizing this and leaving areas like California in droves.

Yes, it relies does directly correlate with financial speculation by large moneyed interests actively bidding up the price of a restricted asset. Not too different from when Goldman Sachs was cornering approved aluminum ingot storage warehouses to drive up the price of the metal... which made everybody's canned beer slightly more expensive.
 
More likely it's related to the 5% population increase since 2012. Aren't uber/lyft drivers typically people with existing vehicles using the ride sharing services to make money? If that's the case, they really aren't adding a significant amount to congestion as these cars were already on the road.



Given that NYC limits taxi licenses, and the cab companies like it this way as it limits competition. NYC taxi licenses sell for big money. $1.3 million per taxi a few years ago. Cab companies pay crap as well. According to the bureau of labor statistics, an average NYC Uber driver earns $90K vs a taxi drivers $35K. This is why you see the explosion of ride sharing in the city.
https://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/28/uber-may-be-tripling-cab-driver-salaries.html
if you read from that link is said "Uber claims the average salary for its drivers in the same city is above $90,000," the real pboblem is in NYC you open the uber app and there are about 20 cars just driving around waiting and that was just in one area of midtown 57 and mandison ave.
 
$200k to $1m.... that seems to coincide with proper inflation level increases amirite?

Fuck these stupid liberals cities that empower government to fight competition. I'm glad to not live in these hell holes -and I'm glad that (if anything) people are realizing this and leaving areas like California in droves.
The poorest states are typically republican run. Maybe you should trot on over to Mississippi so you can be at peace.
 
The poorest states are typically republican run. Maybe you should trot on over to Mississippi so you can be at peace.
While you are correct about the states, numbers alone can be a bit deceiving. It should also be considered the cost of living in that state. A state with higher incomes could have a higher cost a living while a lower income state may have a lower cost of living. The question is how far does the dollar go?
 
I do honestly feel it's about street congestion. Uber/Lyft street congestion is a nightmare even in Philadelphia.
 
the medallion system is nothing more than a get-rich scheme for those who thought of it. ( which seems to be involving duplicitous characters with ties to the union / underworld )

if is was about control of taxi population , a license system would has sufficed. (as in everywhere else in the world)
 
I am a supporter of taxis but I think this law goes way too far. Here are some examples of why taxis have gone down hill.

1. Price goes up, New Yorkers get worse service, pay more and half the time the taxi driver takes you for a joy ride.

2. Did I mention Uber, lyft, via and juno have nicer cars, working ac's and the driver is friendly. You would not believe it.... But ...... They actually have a conversation with you vs speaking in another language on their phone and getting lost.

3. Try using the taxi app or hailing a cab @4/5am in Brooklyn .... It's not happening

4. Try taking the subway sometimes. Its getting more expensive and we're getting less service.

If you are are going to charge a tax increase give me better service. In the meantime the hotel / political lobbies are just making it harder each year for someone to work / pay their bills and stifle competition.


My two cents.
 
the problem with uber and lyft is most drivers do not carry the required commercial vehicle insurance....and if something happens, you are sol...

edit :bolded part
 
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Uber is the country's, and now likely the world's, largest unlicensed gypsy cab operation.

The entire business plan is to use wallstreet funding and political lobbying clout to flout local laws and ordinances about fares and congestion while charging rates designed to destroy licensed transportation businesses and then institute monopoly level pricing all while driving down the wages of the drivers.

...and then use it to work away at other workers rights/wages in other industries. It's not about 'making thing better'.

They made an app that made taxis cheaper and it was great!

They made an app that made plumbers cheaper and it was great!

They made an app that made my job cheaper and cut my wages and I'm fucking furious! There should be a law against it!


Just you wait guys!
 
The poorest states are typically republican run. Maybe you should trot on over to Mississippi so you can be at peace.
Illinois and California disagrees with your statement.......its been democrat for 30+ years and hold its debt just above junk bond status......and there is no turn around in sight.....
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/compare_state_spending_2017bH0S sorted by State Debt for you....Not seeing to many Red states at the top of that list.

Edit: The 30+ years democratic state was in reference to IL (state of which I live).
 
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I can't tell if that's a joke or not. More people use public transportation in NY then pretty much anywhere else.

Now yes: It's been badly underfunded for a while now, and yes, 100 year old infrastructure tends to break more often then we'd like, but for the most part, the system works. The real issue is NY decided for better or worse to stretch repairs over decades in order to keep things operating rather then shut down entire lines for a year to implement wholesale fixes in one go.

I'm aware lots of people use the subway in NYC, however a lot of them also hate it because it's old and dingy. Suddenly an affordable alternative arrives and people would rather take that instead of being stuck in a loud dirty train car.. not surprising.

Obvious answer to "more than pretty much anywhere" would be Japan though but whatever... point is we need to fund better public transit options so that we don't need to rely on cheap/convenient cars to drive us around.
 
Or here's a pretty map that says the opposite.
https://www.roadsnacks.net/poorest-states-in-america/
See the problem with your site is that they are not looking at the government debt. They are only calculating per capita of the population. The states with the highest debts also tax the living crap out of their citizens. Mississippi may not make $70K per person living in the state but they also don't tax near as much....just because the standard of living isn't highest doesn't mean that they don't live just a well or better. A $300K house in Cali isn't nearly as large as one in say South Dakota....
 
I remember when I was younger the whole stereotype of New York was you could never get a cab. You can see this even if you watch movies and TV, like Seinfeld. In recent years due to the booming economy NMew York has been growing. This growth causes congestion. But one thing I hear a lot less of now is people not being able to get a ride. Uber Lyft et al have really changed that and made it better.

The function of the government is to create regulations that help people, what was going on in NY was not helping it was hindering and it seems like the only explanation was corruption. When a person has to pay $1 million for a license, I mean that's just crazy. You know your cab fare was influenced by that heavily. The whole system doesn't make any sense and is filled with abuse. And the fact that NY never saw fit to alter the rules and policies to fix those problems tells you exactly that they had no intention of serving the best interest of people.
 
We don't have Uber in my City but the mini-cab companies have really upped their game.

I now have an app on my phone that I just hit a button the app tells me a driver is on the way, gives me the live tracking, map, name and reg no. I can choose to pay on my card there and then or cash later. 10 mins later I get picked up in a E Class Mercedes and driven across the City to home on a Saturday night for $12.

I know the guy that runs that firm. All his drivers have to be checked, signed off, approved for this and that etc. etc. The amount of paperwork is amazing but he says it's all part of delivering a safe and professional service.
 
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