New York City is built on its public transportation. The Empire City is highly regarded as having the best public transportation in the country – nay – world! You can get anywhere you need to in the city by hopping on a train, bus, or taxi… but maybe not an Uber or Lyft.
The reason being, New York City is, as of recently, enacting regulations to limit the use of Uber and Lyft in the city.
Before you ask, it’s not because drivers have been avoiding their online defensive driving course. It’s because the app overlords are causing extreme devastation to the taxi market in the city. Instead of people hailing cabs, they’re hailing push notifications on their phones. Here’s how NY is limiting Uber & Lyft drivers in the city.
The Poison in the Big Apple
The city’s taxi cab services are being taxi’d out of town by their for-hire driver competitors. The rise for on-demand rides makes it challenging for cabbies to make a living. They are unable to compete with the volume of consumers migrating to these platforms developed by people, thousands of miles away in Silicon Valley. Instead of waiting on the street to wave down a taxi, people are instead calling an Uber or Lyft from their phone.
The shift is causing taxi drivers to leave their companies, suffer financially, and, in one instance, commit suicide. One of the leading voices that emerged from this treading competition came from one cabbie who took their own life to draw focus to, in their opinion, the unjustified encroachment of ride sharing apps on the market. Along with this devastating act, they expressed concerns of financial burden, which caused anxiety and stress. All of which was rooted from the increase competition from Uber and Lyft.
The Regular Regulation
The regulations the city plans to implement are license caps on the amount of Uber and Lyft drivers. This will start limiting the number of drivers who are able to work for these ride sharing companies. The goal in mind is to decrease the amount of drivers working for ride sharing companies and encourage others to take reigns behind a taxi cab.
Taxi cab accounted for roughly 13,600 drivers in the city, whereas Uber and Lyft accounted for about 80,000 drivers. Moreover, the rise of rideshare drivers is increasing by 1,300 drivers per month. With numbers like these, it’s not surprising why taxi drivers are running their meters out of town. Not only are Uber and Lyft drivers increasing, but taxi drivers are exponentially decreasing overtime. This furthermore increases the gap between these fleets.
Pushback Notifications from the Apps
Uber and Lyft are both retaliating in their own unique way. Uber initiated a celebrity campaign to help discourage the bill from passing. The celebrities tweeted out against the government stating that the new regulation will prohibit job growth, especially for people who live in the outer boroughs.
Another tactic Uber schemed was designing their app to have a “De Blasio” feature. This was to openly mock the mayor of New York City who supported the bill by drawing attention to the new regulation inside of the app.
Overall, Uber and Lyft are pushing back against the new regulation by leveraging as much support as they can from their followers and loyal users. This is just another example of business survival of the fittest in the concrete jungle.