So many New Yorkers are signing up with Uber Technology that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members blame the company and other ride-hailing services for clogging Manhattan’s streets and air.
Speaking to radio host Brian Lehrer on WNYC, Ms. Mark-Viverito said she had not formally backed the bill, which would bar any new vehicles from participating in services like Uber and Lyft until the city completes a study on their impact on traffic. The taxi industry also donated more than $150,000 to council members, including more than $8,500 to Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the Transportation Committee, who said Tuesday that the growth limits would be imposed.
Uber’s top executives in France will stand trial over a slew of charges while the company faces a city-mandated limit on growth in New York City. Pressed by Uber and its backers, the city amended the proposal to reflect the company’s objections and adopted it. The company appears ready to employ a similar battle plan against the legislation limiting new licenses for a year, which the company fears would become a permanent cap on the industry. Josh Mohrer, general manager of the company’s New York office, asked at a rally outside City Hall with about 50 drivers, riders and supporters. Uber estimates they have around 27,000 cars in the city.
He said he thinks Uber shouldn’t be singled out for traffic problems in the city. City officials including the Commissioner for the Department of Transportation testified at the hearing.
The cap on new cars could put a roadblock to new drivers like Abul Kalam, 52, who joined Uber four months ago after his downtown Brooklyn grocery store caught fire in December.
Across the sidewalk, on the Uber side of the demonstration, driver Moises Abrego-Flores has the opposite story.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, the alliance said it’s asking officials to “enforce the law regarding Uber, as France has done”.
Mohrer said the city was beholden to “medallion millionaires”, a swipe at the owners of city-issued licenses to operate traditional yellow taxicabs.
“The bill is to have a pause and then do a study on this”, she said. Their price peaked at $1.2 million in 2013 and has been sinking since.
“Most new for-hire vehicle trips-72 percent of pickups-are taking place in the already-congested Manhattan core”. He warned Uber drivers that they could lose their insurance – mandatory in Ontario – if insurance providers knew they were engaged in ride-sharing.
Today’s hearing was just the start of the process; the council will vote on the bills in the coming months.
Kalam, who was at the City Hall rally, said he got financing from a dealership to purchase a new auto that he uses to make money driving with Uber and give his three kids a lift when necessary.