Ride-hailing and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are fast growing, becoming especially popular in more populated cities with higher tourism, such as New Orleans and New York City. So much so that Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is saying that the influx has become a “crisis,” remarking that he will sign the bills into law that cap all app-based for-hire vehicle companies, reports CBS News.
According to Mayor Blasio, this particular ride service issue is frustrating because it is “driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlocks.” Vice president of public policy over at Lyft, Joseph Okpaku, has spoken out, criticizing the council’s decision to cap services such as Lyft. Okpaku claims that doing so will make commuting a struggle again for New Yorkers.
“These sweeping cuts to transportation will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs. We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough.”
A spokesman for Uber has also gone public with that company’s thoughts in a statement to CBS News, saying the decision “[threatens] one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion.” Uber continues to state that it will work with the New York City government as well as state leaders to find any solutions possible in an effort to keep up with the growing demand for transit, while also conferring on the subject of congestion and pricing.
Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock. The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action – and now we have it.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 8, 2018
Meanwhile, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) has pushed hard for this freeze and hails the city council for their decision to put a cap on companies such as Uber. Bhairavi Desai is the current executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. He released a statement to the press, saying this choice was a “victory” for New Yorkers, including the remark that the city’s decision actually benefits Uber, Lyft, and other drivers. Desai and the NYTWA point out the six New York taxi drivers who have committed suicide in 2018 due to difficulty earning a living, cites CBS News.
“This victory belongs to yellow cab, green cab, livery, black car, Uber and Lyft drivers who united together in our union to transform our shared struggle and heartbreak into hope and strength. And this victory belongs to New Yorkers and our allies who have stood with us to say, not one more death, not one more fallen driver crushed by poverty and despair.”