On August 8, 2018, after months of campaigning and more than 25 rallies, demonstrations and actions, the New York City Council passed historic first-time regulations on App Companies like Uber and Lyft, including a cap on the number of for-hire-vehicles (FHV’s). The city issued a 1-year moratorium on new licenses with the exception of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV’s).
The law also required the Taxi and Limousine Commission to study driver income and well-being, traffic congestion, vehicle utilization rates and consumer access to in different geographic areas during the 1-year period.
For thirty years, four factors have determined driver incomes: 1) rate of fare 2) operating expenses 3) number of trips and 4) number of vehicles. It’s a four factor formula that decides at the end of a grueling shift whether or not a driver takes home a livable income or sinks into poverty and how that income will stabilize.
While 13,437 yellow taxi medallions have been issued by the city along with 18,000 green cab licenses in 2013, only 10,000 yellow taxis and 4,000 green cabs are operating on the streets today. Meanwhile, Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via have saturated the streets with over 80,000 vehicles since 2012, making it impossible for drivers in any sector to receive enough fares.
A major study of app-based driver earnings in 2017 found that 85% of app-based drivers earned less than the equivalent of the New York State Minimum Wage.
[Stats from recent study]
Uber/Lyft suit - intervention
In 2018, we had over 25 different campaign actions from the steps of City Hall to the Uber/Lyft Head Quarters to win a historic first-time victory against App Companies. Scoll through some of our photos from last year’s actions below!