NYTWA Statement on Taxi & Limousine Hearing to Extend NYC's For-Hire-Vehicle Cap
(New York, NY) The TLC is holding a hearing today on extending a cap on new vehicle licenses for For-Hire-Vehicles such as Uber and Lyft by another 12 months and a requirement for all App companies to reduce the average empty time in Manhattan 96th Street and below from the current 41% down to 31% by next August. There are currently 120,000 FHV vehicles, with 86,000 affiliated with Uber, Lyft, Via or Juno alone.
The TLC is also proposing to allow App companies to dispatch to vehicles affiliated with livery bases, and vice versa, making it possible for App companies to have another 30,000 cars at their disposal without lifting the cap. Drivers who want to own a car rather than lease will be able to get a new vehicle license for wheel-chair-accessible and electric vehicles, or if they were already in a lease-to-own agreement since last August when the Council fist passed the Vehicle Cap. In essence the cap is the first step toward making the for-hire-vehicle sector more wheelchair accessible.
The following statement can be attributed to Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Executive Director (she/her):
"Drivers are still in crisis in this industry and a vehicle cap to stop the loss of livelihoods is, at this point, a no-brainer. App companies still grew in trips, passenger wait time actually improved, and nothing came crashing down since the cap went into effect.
"Uber, Lyft, and co have no rational reason to oppose the cap or utilization rules. The companies themselves have stopped taking new drivers, even logging drivers off the app in the case of Lyft, and deactivating at a seemingly higher rate. App drivers are still roaming empty 41% of the time and are still earning below minimum wage.
"At this point, Uber and Lyft's opposition may be better suited for the Public Theater in a production of Much Ado About Nothing, rather than a public hearing for a workforce steeped in poverty. The TLC needs to pass the proposed rules and lay down the Cap and utilization requirements as foundations for living wages, job security and a raise for all drivers. The city shouldn't let Uber, Lyft & co keep handcuffing us to a fight over the cap when we still need to win so much more.
"We hope that the Taxi and Limousine Commission will take the next steps with us and pass the Cap and utilization rules ASAP and move forward with our proposals for a living wage and job security for all drivers."
More on our TLC rulemaking petition:
Key NYTWA Petition Proposals include a living wage and job security for app drivers and a raise for drivers in every sector. Here's how we get there:
Set one MINIMUM passenger rate of fare across the industry so no company can cut rates! App companies cannot set minimum rates less than the current yellow cab meter: $2.50 initial charge + $2.50/mile + $0.50/minute in slow traffic.
Same meter rules for out-of-town fares: Double the "meter" for app drivers (like Rate 4 for yellow cabs)
Require companies to pay app drivers whichever is higher: 85% of passenger fare or total of current TLC driver payment rates
Cap FHV Financing and Lease Rates: MAXIMUM $350/week rental lease, including accidents and maintenance. $275/week financing and no more than $42,900 in total for vehicle purchase.
Stop upfront pricing by e-hail companies where passengers pay more but the company pays driver less (like Access-A-Ride trips)
Call on the City Council to pass legislation to stop unfair deactivations for app drivers with no notice, cause or appeal!