Roughly 80,000 for-hire vehicle drivers in New York City are expected to get a pay raise next year. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on Tuesday voted to secure a minimum wage for drivers with ride-hailing companies, including Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno, making New York the first city in the world to do so. Going into effect in 30 days, the new rule mandates a minimum wage of $17.22 per hour, after expenses. That hourly rate is equivalent to the city’s employee minimum wage of $15 per hour, which will be set at the end of this year.
Photo via Citi Bike
Just over 61 percent of Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, and according to a Harvard poll, 14 percent of those who didn’t turn out cited a lack of transportation as the reason. In response, public transportation agencies, car services, and bike/scooter shares in cities throughout the nation will offer free and discounted rides tomorrow for the midtern elections to those traveling to vote. Here in NYC, Citi Bike is offering free rides (as well as in Jersey City), Uber is giving $10 off in addition to adding a poll locater button in its app, and Lyft is giving half off rides, as well as code for free rides to underserved communities.
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Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of bills to limit for-hire vehicles, like Uber and Lyft, by placing a one-year cap on new licenses. And this week the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved a pilot program for a new ride-hailing app for yellow taxis, according to Curbed NY. Calling itself the “next generation taxi app,” Waave promises to give New Yorkers upfront fares, surge-free pricing and estimated time of arrival before the car arrives, all features currently offered by Uber.
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Via joiseyshowaa on Flickr
The New York City Council approved on Wednesday a package of legislation to regulate for-hire vehicles, like Uber and Lyft, making New York the first major city to cap new licenses. The legislation will stop issuing licenses to for-hire vehicles for one year, as the city studies the growing industry. And a minimum wage, which could start at $17.22 an hour, will be established for app-based drivers, which no city has done before.
Photo via Wikimedia
As New York City prepares to become the first major city in the country to cap the number of vehicles driving for services like Uber, racial justice organizations are rallying against the legislation, calling it a civil rights issue. Groups like the National Urban League and the N.A.A.C.P say the City Council’s plan to place a freeze on the amount of for-hire vehicle licenses for one year hurts minority New Yorkers who have trouble hailing taxis on the street. “Some yellow cabs won’t even go uptown or to parts of Brooklyn,” Rev. Al Sharpton told the New York Times. “If you are downtown they won’t stop.”
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Image: Todd Shaffer via Flickr.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the MTA has presented data showing that lower New York City mass transit use numbers matched up with an uptick in taxi and ride-hailing trips. Even as the city’s population grows, subway and bus ridership has been declining. New York City Transit Executive Vice President Tim Mulligan explained in a presentation Monday how dips in weekday subway ridership between 2016 and 2017 coincided with increased use of taxi and for-hire vehicles.
An international phenomenon
In May, 6sqft reported that outer-borough neighborhoods underserved by Citi Bike would get dockless bike-share programs this summer. On Tuesday, the city’s pilot officially kicked off in the Rockaways, the area around Fordham University in the Bronx, and the North Shore of Staten Island, and to make things more exciting, the city is also offering electric bikes (h/t NY Times). The Uber-owned Jump Bikes is providing dockless electric bikes that can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with little user effort. The bikes will cost only a dollar or two and can be reserved and paid for in the Uber app.
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Uber has lofty goals- literally. 6sqft previously reported on the ride-sharing company’s partnership with NASA to develop software to operate their “flying Ubers” for uberAIR by 2023. Clearly, flying Ubers need somewhere to takeoff and land, so yesterday, at their second annual elevate conference in Los Angeles, the company revealed the top six Skyport conceptual designs that are just as futuristic as the flying taxi concept itself.
Could these land in NYC?
Photo via Cargo
A new start-up wants to convert your Uber or Lyft car into a 7-Eleven on wheels while benefitting drivers in the process. The company, called Cargo, sends drivers a box packed with snacks and amenities, like Pringles, earbuds and Advil to sell to riders. While some goodies are free, others like an iPhone charging cord will cost a few bucks, but passengers can easily pay on their phones, according to Forbes. Each time a passenger uses Cargo, even if it’s just for the free samples, drivers can earn money. According to the company, drivers can earn up to $300 per month, with most earning about $100 every month.
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Traffic in NYC, photo via joiseyshowaa on Flickr
As New York City’s failure-prone subway system continues to disappoint, some commuters are turning to ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft to reach their destinations instead. While getting picked up by a car is easy, especially in the busiest areas of Manhattan, the bumper-to-bumper traffic makes getting anywhere actually more difficult. A report released by Bruce Schaller, a former deputy city transportation commissioner, found that one-third of ride-hailing cars and yellow cabs are often driving on the city’s most congested blocks without any passengers, creating unnecessary traffic (h/t New York Times). As a way to reduce car congestion, officials are considering a new fee on for-hire vehicles, possibly a way to raise money for the strapped-for-cash MTA.
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