Upper West Side rejects proposed rest hub for delivery workers

March 9, 2023

Photo by Jimmy Baikovicius on Flickr

The Upper West Side voted against a proposed rest stop for delivery workers on 72nd Street and Broadway, as first reported by Gothamist. During a public hearing Tuesday, Manhattan Community Board 7 voted 27-8 against the transformation of an empty newsstand into a charging station for delivery workers.

Image courtesy of Elvert Barnes on Flickr

Last October, Mayor Eric Adams and Sen. Chuck Schumer revealed plans to transform vacant public spaces like empty newsstands into “Street Deliveristas Hubs,” places for delivery workers to rest, charge devices, and shelter from the elements. As intended by the pilot program, the hubs are meant to be installed in high-traffic neighborhoods.

Upper West Side residents expressed concerns over the use of lithium batteries in e-bikes, which have caused a number of fires across NYC, and the location of the proposed hub directly next to one of the city’s busiest subway stations.

Even though the community voted against it, the rest stop may still find a home in the neighborhood. While the community board’s vote is only advisory, NYC Parks said officials will continue listening to feedback and concerns from the community, according to a spokesperson for the agency, which manages the placement of new charging stations and rest hubs.

“Unfortunately not only our mayor, but the community boards have failed to understand the value, and to acknowledge the contribution of deliveristas,” Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project/Los Deliveristas Unidos, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Worker’s Justice Project advocates for better work conditions and pay in industries like app-based food delivery.

Council Member Gale Brewer, who represents the neighborhood, said she would work with Community Board 7 to figure out alternative locations for the rest hub.

In November 2022, the city’s Department of Consumer and Work Protection proposed a new minimum wage for delivery workers, declaring that workers should be paid at least $23.82 per hour plus tips by 2025, according to THE CITY. The proposed wage takes into account the costs of operating delivery vehicles.

The DCWP on Tuesday reversed the wage increase, setting the minimum wage for delivery workers by 2025 at $19.64 per hour, nearly four dollars less than previously proposed, according to THE CITY. The agency said it had to take into account the fact that many delivery workers are working for multiple apps at the same time, also known as “multi-apping.”


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