Several months ago, the New York City Council approved bills that was meant to solve or at least regulate the rapid rise of ‘for-hire’ vehicles. One of the bills that crippled the ride-hail business was the cap that limits the number of drivers for Uber and Lyft. While it may help reduce the massive numbers of for-hire vehicles in New York, there’s also a chance it could increase unemployment.
As you might have heard from experiences of retired or recently dismissed employees, driving for Uber and Lyft is a good fallback when no other job employments are open. Moreover, there are lots of hopefuls who migrate and are looking forward for that taste of city life. Much to their disappointments, they may have to work harder for a decent job since drive-hail companies aren’t accepting at the moment.
Uber’s NYC update reads,
“As of April 1, 2019, we are not accepting new for-hire vehicle driver sign-ups in New York City, due in part to new TLC regulations.”
“Create an account to join the waitlist to drive with Uber in NYC, and consider other ways to earn with Uber, like delivering with Uber Eats or driving with Uber outside of the five boroughs.”
Lyft’s NYC update reads,
“Because of TLC regulations, we’re currently not accepting new drivers in New York City at this time. You can still apply to drive in the rest of New York State and New Jersey.”
Other bills that involved Uber and Lyft was the required pay for ride-hail drivers. Drivers are now payed at least $17.22 per hour, after expenses such as maintenance, gas and other vehicle-related costs. It is another rule that penalizes the companies that are operating too many cars. As reviewed by the council, there are too many cars that are without passengers, resulting in an oversaturated market.
What Happens Now?
The goal of the bills seems to already have an effect with a result of reduced traffic congestion. It’s not by an overly significant percentage, but it helps a lot by not making it worst. One could only imagine if drivers are non-stop applying as an Uber or Lyft driver, the city streets would be jammed with ride-hail vehicles.
As expected, Uber and Lyft did not simply agree and take the hit. Uber sued in overturning the city’s cap. Although Uber tolerated the rules that were limiting their profits, they argued that the process of ‘Ban first, study later’ is not acceptable and is unfair.
The City mayor disagrees by stating this on a radio interview,
“We’re going to put ongoing caps in place on the for-hire vehicles and we’re going to work to increase the wages and benefits [of] the drivers,”
Lyft also filed suit against the city and about its new law involving their driver’s minimum wage. The company argued that they wouldn’t be able to effectively compete with the much larger rail-hide company, Uber.
A spokesperson from Lyft had this to say,
“Our lawsuit does not target the law passed by City Council, but instead addresses the specific way the [Taxi and Limousine Commission] plans to implement the rules, which would advantage Uber in New York City at the expense of drivers and smaller players such as Lyft,”
The spokesperson also added,
“It’s no secret that Uber has tried to put us out of business in the past. They’ve failed repeatedly, and the TLC should not assist them in their efforts.”
City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his distaste regarding the lawsuit by tweeting,
“Unconscionable. The overwhelming majority of these companies’ drivers earn less than minimum wage. We won’t stand for it in New York City, and we’ll fight every step of the way to get workers the pay they deserve”
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