NYC to transform vacant public spaces into rest hubs for food delivery workers

October 3, 2022

Photo by Peter Burka on Flickr

New York City will soon provide a place for food delivery workers to rest, charge devices, and take shelter from the elements. Mayor Eric Adams and Sen. Chuck Schumer on Monday announced a new pilot program that transforms existing and underused structures across the city, like vacant newsstands, into “Street Deliveristas Hubs.” The first of its kind in the nation, the program aims to reach the city’s 65,000 app-based delivery workers.

Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Program/Los Deliveristas Unidos, commended the city’s announcement. The Worker’s Justice Program has long been advocating for better work conditions in industries like app-based food delivery.

“On behalf of the Worker’s Justice Project and Los Deliveristas Unidos, I applaud U.S Senator Chuck Schumer and New York City Mayor Eric Adams for their commitment to invest and build the nation’s first Deliveristas Hubs, a new infrastructure model that will deliver worker-led training programs, essential services, workers’ rights information, micro-mobility charging stations, and a safe place for deliveristas to rest,” Guallpa said.

Using a $1 million federal grant secured by Sen. Schumer, the program will revitalize “underutilized structures on city properties,” according to a press release. Part of the grant will be put towards the renovation of a worker center in Williamsburg used by delivery drivers.

The program comes as the demand for food delivery continues to grow, with the workforce especially exploding during the height of the pandemic. The hubs will be installed in high-traffic neighborhoods, with their design created with input from workers and the local community.

“Deliveristas are out there doing the hard work, day in and day out, and are essential to New Yorkers’ way of life and to our city’s economy, and essential workers deserve essential services,” Adams said. “While most people have a break room to rest while at work, app-based food delivery workers do not.”

Adams continued: “I’m proud to partner with Majority Leader Schumer to create the first-in-the-nation Street Deliveristas Hubs that will eventually help serve the more than 65,000 deliveristas in New York City. By investing in existing, underused spaces, like vacant newsstands, this program will ensure our public spaces serve all and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for some of our hardest working New Yorkers.”


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