New Uber and Lyft Cap in NYC Decreases Ride Availability
Today the City Council of New York passed regulations that will limit the amount of ride hail vehicles operating within the city. This cap comes in reaction to the issues New York City has been facing in terms of transportation. More specifically, congestion issues that have clogged up the roadways and made transportation a nightmare.
The issue began with the city’s famous subway system that locals have had a tumultuous love-hate relationship. Recently it’s become more of a negative relationship where the city’s denizens have elected to instead utilize the services of rideshare apps like Uber, Lyft, and even Via. this exodus from the city’s underground public transport system and into the backs of rideshare cars has clogged up the roadways to the point that the city council passed these regulations.
Uber and Lyft Services vs New York Taxis
App-based ride services account for 80,000 vehicles in New York City, and provide 17 million rides per month, according to a study by The New School for the TLC. The ride-share services offered by Uber and Lyft have taken up the slack for the subway system but in the process are killing off New York City’s iconic taxis and clogging up the roads with cars.
On one side of the aisle, the new regulations that impose a cap on the amount of new rideshare vehicles from Uber and Lyft will decrease the amount of cars clogging up the roads and allow the more traditional taxi companies to take a breath and regain their footing from the onslaught of new rideshare cars elbowing into their business.
On the other hand, Uber and Lyft argue that the new cap regulations on new vehicles will increase the cost of ridesharing and decrease the availability of rides. Furthermore, this decrease in ride availability will hit areas like the outer boroughs and certain neighborhoods that are often neglected by regular taxis.
New Uber and Lyft Rideshare Regulations
The efforts by the city council of New York to reduce the congestion and save the plunging taxi business include a 12-month cap on new rideshare drivers from companies like Uber and Lyft and the introduction of a new wage floor for the many taxi drivers struggling to keep up with rideshare vehicles.
An interesting note is how only regular rideshare car services will be affected while the more specialized services like those serving handicapped passengers will remain untouched since they are much less used. One approach Uber and Lyft have been taking in response to this new regulation is to reduce their reliance on their bread and butter services like Uberx or regular Lyft rides and branch out into more specialized services like bike-sharing which Uber has bought several companies specializing in.
Uber and Lyft vs Taxis
Due to their similar services of driving people around, most would assume that taxis are the same as ride-hail vehicles like Uber and Lyft. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Uber and Lyft are actually classified in a completely different way than traditional taxi companies.
The primary difference between rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft and taxis is that rideshare companies are considered software companies rather than private transport companies like limousine or taxi services. The rationalization of this is that Uber and Lyft simply run an app that is used by freelance drivers and that they merely network through their hailing service. Unlike a taxi company, they do not own the cars and Uber and Lyft drivers are not direct employees. They are just freelance drivers that use the app.
Taxi vs Uber and Lyft Regulation
It is because of this difference in classification that Uber and Lyft have been able to outmaneuver cab companies and steal the transport business. Since Uber and Lyft are only considered a software company and therefore are exempt from the kinds of regulations that are placed upon regular taxi companies.
Unlike cab companies, Uber and Lyft do not have to vet their drivers as extensively. Drivers do not go through the same extensive background checks that taxi drivers do and many drivers with histories that make them unsuitable to drive slip through the cracks. Also, taxi drivers require a special license to drive that Uber and Lyft drivers do not. On average, taxi drivers have much more professional driving experience than most Uber and Lyft drivers that only drive part-time to supplement their income.
Also, Uber and Lyft do not have to pay fees on their vehicles like taxi companies since they do not own them. The vehicles also do not have to be as stringently inspected as taxis since they are freelance vehicles. There are standards expected of Uber and Lyft vehicles like appropriate cleanliness and reasonable make and model of car. It is unlikely you will have your Uber end up being an old hearse but their cars are not as uniform and maintained to the same standard as taxis.
Uber and Lyft vs Taxi Insurance and Liability
Taxis require commercial vehicle insurance which is a special kind of insurance that covers the unique liability of company cars engaging in a business. Uber and Lyft drivers do not require this kind of insurance which can lead to all kinds of complex situations in the case of an accident.
On top of this complex insurance situation, there is also the fact that Uber and Lyft themselves offer insurance that only covers specific situations when an Uber or Lyft gets in an accident. Depending on whether an Uber or Lyft gets into an accidentwhile searching for a passenger, on its way to a passenger, or with a passenger can determine exactly how much coverage someone can expect or whether they can expect coverage to come from Uber/Lyft or the driver’s personal insurance.
The Future of Uber and Lyft Regulation
This new batch of regulations on Uber and Lyft are nothing new. As the world has begun to grow more and more accustomed to the revolutionary new services offered by Uber and Lyft, the initial honeymoon period without regulation has begun to end. In Europe, Uber has been classified as a taxi company after much debate. The government after a period, wisened up and established set amounts of required insurance for rideshare vehicles.
The general trend seems to show that as time goes on, Uber and Lyft will face more and more regulation. Only time will tell if these new regulations will improve the quality we expect from ride-hail services or if lax policies will mean more complication for those involved in Uber and Lyft accidents.
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 Sibley Dolman Gipe 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 Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
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