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.