(Reuters) – Uber on Tuesday will start limiting drivers’ entry to its app in New York Metropolis to adjust to regulation aimed toward boosting drivers’ pay and easing congestion in Manhattan, legal guidelines that Uber says could have unintended penalties.
FILE PHOTO: A display screen shows the corporate emblem for Uber Applied sciences Inc. on the day of it is IPO on the New York Inventory Alternate (NYSE) in New York, U.S., Could 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Picture
Uber Applied sciences Inc’s transfer to lock out drivers at instances and in areas of low demand comes simply months after rival Lyft Inc applied related measures in response to metropolis regulation.
Each corporations oppose the unprecedented guidelines, saying they’ll forestall drivers from incomes cash and lower off low-income New Yorkers in distant areas not serviced by common taxis, a declare the town rejects.
“Repeatedly we’ve seen Mayor (Invoice) de Blasio’s TLC move arbitrary and politically-driven guidelines which have unintended penalties for drivers and riders,” Uber stated in a press release on Monday.
New York Metropolis’s Taxi and Limousine Fee (TLC) final yr applied a number of legal guidelines difficult the way in which ride-share corporations function in North America’s largest metropolis, one of many business’s largest markets.
The company’s appearing commissioner, Invoice Heinzen, in a press release on Monday defended the legal guidelines, saying they held corporations accountable and prevented Uber and Lyft from oversaturating the market at drivers’ expense.
New guidelines cap the variety of app-based, for-hire automobiles and established minimal pay for the town’s 80,000 ride-share drivers primarily based on how a lot time they spend transporting passengers.
The legal guidelines additionally restrict the time drivers spend “cruising” – driving to or ready to select up new passengers. Beginning in February, ride-share corporations have to cut back cruising charges by 5% and later by 10%, down from at the moment 41%. Non-compliance can lead to fines and even the lack to function within the metropolis.
The principles are aimed toward decreasing congestion in Manhattan, the place ride-share automobiles make up near a 3rd of peak time site visitors, based on the TLC.
Uber stated there was no proof displaying the steps would ease congestion. The corporate supported a $2.75 congestion surcharge applied for Manhattan ride-share journeys earlier this yr.
Lyft in June modified its app to lock out drivers throughout low demand. The corporate stated it helps drivers through the change, for instance by displaying them areas with excessive demand or instances throughout which restrictions are lifted.
The New York Taxi Employees Alliance, a union representing taxi and app-based drivers, stated the businesses had been attempting to scare drivers.
“Uber is now spreading concern and disinformation to New York drivers, trying to persuade employees that guidelines defending their livelihoods are accountable for Uber’s grasping insurance policies,” the union stated in a press release.
Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Enhancing by Dan Grebler