Rideshare platform Uber released its second US Safety Report last week, covering the years 2019 and 2020. According to the report, there were 3,824 sexual assaults reported on the platform in those years, including 141 rapes. These figures reflected a decline in sexual assaults since its previous annual report, though it reportedly saw an increase in car crash-related deaths, with 101 fatalities connected to the platform. In addition to the sexual assaults and motor vehicle accident fatalities, a report by CNN notes, there were also “20 fatalities as a result of physical assaults” reported in 2019 and 2020, including 15 rider fatalities. Continue reading
New York City Council member Mark Gjonaj has introduced a bill that would require food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats to reimburse delivery workers for “certain costs” resulting from vehicle crashes as they delivery food. According to a New York Post report and the City Council’s website, require the companies to reimburse expenses relating to medical treatment and property damage, while imposing financial penalties on companies that don’t comply with the law.
A sweeping new investigation by StreetsBlog uncovered apparently widespread misconduct connected to New York City’s 311 program, with dangerous and potentially fatal traffic violations left unaddressed by authorities.
Drawing on analysis of 26 million complaints filed through the 311 program since 2010, as well as interviews with a range of stakeholders and experts, StreetsBlog found that the New York Police Department “thousands of service requests about driver misconduct each year in under five minutes,” as opposed to five such closures in 2010; that experts believe this indicates police officers aren’t investigating complaints they quickly close; that the police department “routinely” justifies its closure of such complaints by saying they fall beyond its jurisdiction, which lawyers and former officials describe as a “false” justification; that some residents who regularly file complaints have received “harassing messages”; and that the NYPD “rarely” issues tickets connected to 311 complaints. Continue reading
After a 2017 New York City class-action lawsuit alleging that the ride-sharing company Uber was discriminating against people with disabilities, the ride sharing companies Uber, Lyft, and Via arrived at an agreement with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission in which they agreed to a “wait time requirement” to increase accessibility, as described by an article in City and State. Under this requirement, the companies must fulfill “80% of accessible ride requests within 15 minutes, and 90% of accessible ride requests within 30 minutes.” They can also have these requests filled by third-party vehicle-for-hire companies, provided those companies also meet the wait time requirement. Continue reading
New York City became the first city in America to put a cap on the number of vehicles used by ride-hailing services last month. The move by City Council is part of a broader regulatory scheme meant to address a range of issues concerning ride-hailing services including their effect on medallion prices, driver wages and benefits, and limited access for New Yorkers with disabilities. Uber, Lyft, and Via – the three most prominent ride-hailing services in the five boroughs – decried the regulation and said that their services offered a pivotal service to low-income New Yorkers without access to taxis or the subway, in addition to jobs with flexible schedules.
In addition to capping the number of vehicles used by ride-hailing services at their current level of 100,00, the bill also allows for New York to set a minimum hourly rate for Uber and Lyft drivers. Previously, these drivers were considered independent contractors under the law – not employees – and therefore were not subject to minimum wage laws, among other protections given to employees. According to the City Council and Mayor de Blasio, the new law will put a “pause” on the industry for twelve months while it commissions a study on the effect of ride-hailing services on congestion which the Mayor said contributed to the “congestion grinding our streets to a halt” without citing any evidence.