As of today, New Yorkers who want to get to JFK Airport as quickly as possible can do so via a private helicopter ride. In an email sent out to customers today, Uber Technologies announced the full launch of Uber Copter, a helicopter that you can book via the app that will take you from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport to JFK for $200-$225. The program opened on July 9th, but now any Uber member can book a chopper on weekday afternoons between 1pm and 6pm. Though you’ll need to get to/from the heliport in lower Manhattan and your terminal, the flight itself is only eight minutes.
The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Wednesday to extend the cap on for-hire vehicle licenses for one year and reduce the time drivers can travel without passengers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The cap on licenses, the first of its kind in the country, was first introduced last year as part of a pilot program aimed at regulating the growing for-hire vehicle industry as well as reducing traffic and pollution.
As the city’s for-hire vehicles (FHVs) rack up nearly 800,000 rides per day, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Wednesday the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s new plan to extend last year’s cap on for-hire vehicle licenses, the New York Post reports. A second cap will be placed on the length of time FHVs can let their cars cruise the city without passengers in the most congested part of Manhattan, below 96th Street. Last August, the city also suspended the issuance of new licenses. The new policies are expected to increase driver salaries by about 20 percent and make traffic in Manhattan below 60th Street six to 10 percent faster.
Image: Maxpixel CC public domain.
In 2017, Uber announced plans to begin testing four-passenger flying taxi services for a division called Uber Elevate in Dallas/Fort Worth, with more testing planned for Los Angeles in 2020 ahead of the 2028 Olympics. But the ride-hailing service will be bringing helicopter service to New York City much sooner. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that starting July 9, Uber will be offering Uber Copter, a new service, available via the Uber app, that will shuttle passengers between Lower Manhattan and JFK Airport.
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.
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.
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.”
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.