New York to make Uber and Lyft pay drivers more
On December 4 the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission announced an hourly pay for Uber, Lyft, Via, and Gett/Juno drivers of New York. It shall be equal to the minimum of $17.22 plus average per-mile expenses incurred by drivers. The decision is planned to be implemented in mid-January 2019. The TLC stated that 96% of the Big Apple on-demand drivers will get roughly $10,000 more within a year. The Commission also pointed out that the minimum hourly rate will be higher for the drivers whose vehicles are wheelchair accessible. There will be also minimum pay rates for trips outside the city, where demand is not as high as it is in NY and drivers tend to spend much more time without orders, for instance on their way back. This policy will lead to less congested streets and more flow towards the suburbs since drivers will get more flexibility in terms of geography.
Rydar has already covered New York suspension of Uber driver license issuance that took place in August. It seems like the Big Apple is trying hard to prevent congestion of Manhattan and somehow cut down on competition, which is both reasonable and controversial. Currently 80 000 on-demand drivers are registered in the city, which is surely impressive. The government wants rideshare drivers to earn more and become protected from driver wages fluctuation controlled by corporations, however it will inevitably result in higher fares for riders who, at some point, may decide to opt for public transport or cabs. This may force Uber and Lyft to quit and leave New York transportation market incomplete. At the same time, Uber and Lyft service provision can’t compare with cabs in terms of quality, thus deserves a higher pay. Moreover, rideshare companies are anti-racist, which benefits multinational cosmopolitan cities, while cab drivers tend not to stop in front of people they don’t like for their personal reasons.
Both Uber and Lyft are not satisfied with the TLC decision and anticipate that it will rebound. It should be also noted that state bodies might not clearly understand how rideshare business works and that rideshare drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. All of that leaves more questions than answers. Will there be any limit in working hours a day/ a week? Will there be any shifts? Will drivers who don’t do enough working hours be deactivated? All the above mentioned are rideshare drivers’ concerns. We at Rydar hope that all the changes will be positive for drivers and riders of New York.