NYTWA Strongly Supports FHV and Taxi Environmental Impact Study and Moratorium On New Vehicle Permits During the Study Period

For Immediate Release:  June 23rd, 2015
Contact: 718-706-9892 or nytwa1@aol.com or media@nytwa.org

NYTWA responds to proposed bills from Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Councilman Stephen Levin.

Statement from Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance (18,000-member union of Yellow Taxi, Green Cab, and Uber Drivers)

“For months, we have seen drivers in all sectors lose income because of the saturation of vehicles.  With 25,000 FHVs affiliated with Apps and 13,600 yellow medallion taxis, you now have essentially close to 40,000 taxis and black cars all competing in Manhattan during the same limited prime hours.  No one can move around.  

And there are only so many hours that anyone can earn their primary fares:  AM and PM rush hours, weekend nights.  You can’t complete a fare fast enough to pick up the next one.  And especially for yellow taxis which run on the meters, drivers earn less money when stuck in traffic.  The meter fare is highest at the drop of $2.50, so you earn the most by picking up a high number of fares.  

The cars are spending more time idling in traffic and just cruising.  Drivers are working more hours for less income, paying more for gasoline and facing greater health risks such as kidney failure, back pain and respiratory illnesses.  

Cities like San Francisco are now paying a high price for having had no similar study or vehicle limitations.  In 2012, SF was not in the top 25 most polluted US Cities.  In 2013, it was not there. In 2014, for the first time in recent history, SF entered the list at number 9 on one count – short-term particle pollution.  In 2015, SF has entered on 2 counts – number 7 on long-term or year round particle pollution and number 6 on short-term.  Add to this, SF now ranks as the second most congested US city.”

Citations regarding San Francisco:
http://www.stateoftheair.org/2014/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html
http://www.stateoftheair.org/2015/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html
http://sanfrancisco.suntimes.com/sf-news/7/74/150275/most-us-polluted-cities
http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/key-findings/2008-2010/short-term-particle-pollution.html

(Statement PDF)