New York Uber and Lyft Vehicle Cap Puts Pressure on Drivers
New York City has recently signed into action the official cap on Uber and Lyft rideshare vehicles in an effort to curb the growing traffic and transportation issues that have been growing in the city’s streets. The primary concern has been with how the shutting down of several key subway lines, many commuters have taken to using services such as Uber and Lyft to get around. The influx of rideshare vehicles has put a strain on New York City traffic congestion and led to increased commute time for everyone.
In addition to this, the influx of rideshare vehicles flooding the transport market has pushed many taxi drivers into dire straits. The iconic taxi services of New York City have experienced a general decline ever since the introduction of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. Taxi medallion and license values have plunged and taxi driver business has dried up as many have elected to instead utilize the services of Uber and Lyft.
Prospective New York Ride-Hail Drivers Rush to Register Before Cap
As a result of this cap, thousands of eager rideshare drivers lined up to register vehicles with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission in anticipation of the cap on Uber and Lyft ride-hail vehicles. 2,082 applications were filed with the agency on the day Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the regulation into effect. In comparison, a grand total of 2,372 application were fielded in the entire month of July.
All these new additions will be taking to the streets of New York City alongside the estimated 96,326 rideshare cars of which, 77,571 or 81 percent, are affiliated with Uber alone, according to TLC figures. All of these rideshare vehicles share the road with 13,587 yellow taxi cabs that make significantly less than the average New York Uber driver.
In addition to the regulation placing a one year cap on new rideshare vehicles in New York, other new regulations signed into effect will establish a driver minimum wage, subject rideshare cars and taxis to the same inspections, and rejigger fines for drivers who break certain TLC rules.
What the Cap Means for Uber and Lyft
As expected, Uber and Lyft are vehemently against the new ride-hail vehicle cap. The two major ride-hail app companies have claimed that the cap will increase prices and decrease the availability of rideshare services in the New York City area and also significantly decrease the transportation prospects of outer boroughs and minority neighborhoods that yellow taxi cabs often neglect.
This is the first cap of its kind in the United States. There have been other regulatory actions taken against the rapidly growing ride-hail apps but nothing like this so far. Uber and Lyft have had histories of friction with governments seeking to regulate their revolutionary services that defied early classification attempts.
There was the time Europe classified Uber as a taxi service, Uber being driven out of several country’s own copycat rideshare services, friction with another established and iconic taxi service in London, and general ambivalence by regulatory forces in regard to uncertainty over how to deal with the ride-hail phenomenon.
Uber and Lyft Regulation Turning Point
This cap and the accompanying regulations that increase inspections and establish wage floors, signal a turning point in Uber and Lyft regulation. Up until now, Uber and Lyft have enjoyed the benefits of loose regulation allowing them to operate as they please. If other cities follow New York’s example and start enacting more stringent regulation on Uber and Lyft, then the gap between taxi companies and rideshare companies will start to close.
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Taxis vs Uber and Lyft
Contrary to popular belief, Uber and Lyft do not fall into the same category as taxis unless you are in the European Union. That is likely not the case if you are reading this. Uber and Lyft are classified as software companies instead of taxi companies and therefore are not subjected to the same stringent regulations.
The reasoning behind this is that Uber and Lyft merely operate and app used by freelance drivers. They drivers are not direct Uber or Lyft employees and the cars they use are their own private vehicles instead of a company vehicle like a taxi.
Uber and Lyft Free of Taxi Regulation
It’s because of this difference that Uber and Lyft do not have to deal with all the regulations usually associated with taxi companies. In the case of New York, Uber and Lyft could have thousands of vehicles operating in the city despite a strict control of exactly how many taxis can exist at any given time. They do not have the same fees that apply to owning company vehicles and the insurance coverage differs greatly between rideshare vehicles and taxis.
What could prove interesting is how regulation may change Uber and Lyft insurance in the future. As of now, Uber and Lyft insurance is limited to covering mostly their passengers and third parties not at fault while drivers have to get rideshare specific insurance to cover themselves and their vehicle. Taxis typically have regular commercial vehicle insurance since they are company vehicles. Perhaps in the future there may be a situation where Uber and Lyft may be subject to the same insurance regulation as taxis or an approximation of that insurance.
Only time will tell what the future holds in store for Uber and Lyft regulation and how those regulations will impact the process of receiving compensation in the event of an Uber/Lyft accident occurring.
Seek an Experienced Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your possible claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
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