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NYTWA Statement: TLC Votes YES to Extend Vehicle Cap!

NYTWA Statement:
Historic & Lifesaving Vehicle Cap Extended + New Cap on App Vehicle Roaming

(New York, NY) The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to extend the cap on For-Hire-Vehicles such as Uber and Lyft by another 12 months and in favor of 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 following statement can be attributed to Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Executive Director (she/her):

"Now that the cap has been extended we can focus on our fight for economic justice for drivers in every sector -- Uber, Lyft, black car, green cab, and yellow taxi drivers.

"Even though Uber, Lyft drivers and yellow cab owner-drivers are at different stages of their struggle for life out of poverty, stopping the oversaturation of cars is the starting point for all drivers to recover in this race to the bottom.

"The more cars there are, the fewer fares every App driver gets -- and the less reason App companies have to stop Deactivations or to guarantee job security to their drivers.

"Meanwhile, yellow, green, livery and black car drivers are drowned out by the traffic. For yellow and green cabs to be hailed, they have to be seen. No driver wins under the Uber/Lyft business model of flooding our streets with an infinite number of idling cars. But today with these rules, every driver won!

"Just as they did in 2015 and 2018, Uber and its lobbyists used cynical talking points and spread lies to try to stop the cap from being extended. The truth is that the company has stopped accepting new drivers. App drivers on the road still aren't earning minimum wage, cruising the streets empty 41% of the time.

"The world didn't come crashing down since the cap went into effect. But driver incomes have yet to improve.

"Now we can move on and win a raise for all drivers through one minimum meter rate across the industry.

"And we can address Deactivations, or firings of drivers, and predatory leases and finance rates -- all consequences of the failure to regulate app companies and the over saturation of vehicles on our streets.

"NYTWA has already petitioned the TLC for Rulemaking. That's a process under the city charter where the city has 60 days to reply so we expect a response by mid-September.

"We are ready to organize and win those demands just as we organized to win today's rules."

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!

NYTWA Statement on Taxi & Limousine Hearing to Extend NYC's For-Hire-Vehicle Cap