Regulatory Pressure Grows Against Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft are no strangers to the threat of impending bureaucratic restriction and regulation upon their ever expanding niche in the world of transportation services. Once again they are faced with such growing regulation in the city of New York. Long has this world renowned metropolis posed many problems for the cutting edge rideshare companies that wish to line the streets with their services.
The primary issue being the iconic yellow taxi services that have become part of the city’s identity yet have not been able to compete with the flood of rideshare vehicles. Traditional taxi services all over the world have taken hard stances against rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft despite what seems to be an inevitable takeover of city car transport by rideshare.
New York City Proposes Rideshare Regulations
The government of New York City has decided to side with their traditional taxi service against Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies. Uber and Lyft now face growing regulation in the form of proposals by the New York City government to restrict the number of new Uber and Lyft drivers as well as introduce a wage floor for said drivers. Part of the justification for these new restrictions is the growing congestion problem in New York City as well as decreasing wage levels for drivers.
Uber and Lyft both believe that these new restrictions and regulations would harm the availability of rides in the city’s outer boroughs where people have come to rely on the service due to yellow taxi companies neglect in operating there.
Uber and Lyft Offer Bailout to New York Taxi Drivers
In response to the proposed restrictions and regulations, Uber and Lyft have offered a $100 million dollar fund to help support the medallion owning taxi drivers that have taken the biggest financial hits from lower wages and decreasing taxi license value. The two companies would spend $20 million a year for five years to provide payouts amounting in the tens of thousands of dollars to individual taxi medallion owners.
So far, the official response from the City of New York Council has been a flat but polite no. The offer from Uber and Lyft has put a magnifying glass to what exactly the City of New York is planning on doing to help their taxi drivers under siege by the ridesharing hordes.
Traditional Taxis vs. Uber and Lyft
All this talk of taxis being trodden over by the explosion of rideshare vehicles begs the question of how exactly are traditional taxis and rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft all that different. Some would assume that there would not be all that big a difference considering that they both offer such similar paid ride services. To assume this would be more off the mark than most realize.
Classification Differences Between Taxis and Rideshare
Rideshare vehicles associated with apps such as Uber and Lyft are strictly speaking, not classified in the same category as traditional taxi services. The reasoning behind this is that Uber and Lyft are simply software companies that run an application and that it. They do not own the cars and the drivers are freelance entities that merely use the service of the application to get passengers that hail them through the application.
This difference in classification makes all the difference because since Uber and Lyft are not considered taxis unde the law, then they are not beholden to the same rules and regulations of taxis. As one can imagine this gives rideshare an enormous edge over the competition of traditional taxi services, for better or worse.
Regulation Differences Between Taxis and Rideshare Companies
For example, taxis require much more stringent background checks and training than Uber or Lyft. Taxi drivers require a special license in order to operate a taxi. Uber and Lyft drivers typically have never worked as professional drivers before and typically only work for Uber or Lyft to supplement their income.
Since taxis are directly owned by taxi companies they fall under strict inspection regulations and companies are required to pay several fees per each taxi which can amount to quite a bit. Uber and Lyft on the other hand, simply leave the drivers be since they are freelancers. Uber has vehicle requirements of course to prevent your ride from being a beat up 70’s station wagon but ultimately the maintenance standards are not nearly the same.
Insurance and Liability with Taxis and Rideshare Vehicles
Another difference is that taxis require commercial vehicle insurance to operate since they are owned by a business that uses them for profit. Uber and Lyft vehicles are owned privately by freelance drivers so they do not need commercial vehicle insurance. However, since Uber and Lyft drivers do make a direct profit from using their vehicles in a business service, a lot of insurance will not cover them and they will usually have to get commercial vehicle insurance anyways although it is not required.
Insurance when it comes to an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle can be surprisingly complex. Depending on whether an Uber or Lyft driver has a passenger, is looking for a passenger, or is on their way to a passenger can determine the level of coverage they receive from an Uber or Lyft insurance policy or their own policy. With a taxi accident, since the vehicle is owned directly by the taxi company the liability and insurance situation is much easier to navigate than that of an Uber or Lyft accident.
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 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’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
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Clearwater, FL 33765