The de Blasio administration’s crackdown on ride-hailing services is hurting poor riders, according to Uber.
The San Francisco company says city and state regulations reining in ride-hailing services like Uber are only making life difficult for lower income neighborhoods — while having zero impact on more affluent New York City riders.
“The data suggests that the TLC’s regulations may be impacting low-income New Yorkers, especially in communities that are poorly served by yellow taxis,” Chad Dobbs, Uber’s head of rides in the city, told The Post.
Dobb’s statement comes ahead of a hearing before the Taxi Limousine Commission Tuesday to consider more regulations, including extending the current NYC freeze on for-hire vehicles.
The $74 billion company is upset over a slew of city and state regulations that it claims have boosted the cost of a ride, including the TLC’s new minimum wage requirements for e-hail drivers; the TLC-imposed freeze on for-hire vehicles, and NY state-sponsored congestion pricing rules.
The TLC hearing Tuesday is to entertain two new proposals that could further crimp Uber. The first would require companies like Uber and Lyft to decrease the amount of time their vehicles spend without passengers south of 96th St. in Manhattan from 41 percent to 31 percent. The second proposal would extend the freeze on for-hire vehicle licenses the agency imposed last year at Hizzoner’s urging.
Uber claims that while there was a rush to register vehicles before the hard cap went into effect, the ride-hail industry loses more than a thousand vehicles each month — resulting in a lower number of cars on the road now than the industry’s peak in the fall.
“Before the Mayor rushes to pass a whole new set of rules, the TLC should take a closer look at these trends and make sure it’s putting riders ahead of the taxi kingpins and lenders who stand to benefit from more regulation,” Dobbs said.
Uber’s data claiming the rules disproportionately hurt poor people will be shared widely in a blog post Tuesday. The post will say Uber rides have grown by single-digits in three low-income neighborhoods since the city’s freeze was implemented last year — while soaring roughly 50 percent in two affluent neighborhoods.
Uber rides in Brooklyn’s East New York grew just 1 percent between June 2018 and June 2019, compared to 110 percent growth the year before, Uber said. Uber rides in Central Harlem and Wakefield in The Bronx saw growth of 9 percent compared to increases the previous year of 68 percent and 121 percent respectively, Uber said.
All three neighborhoods have average household incomes below the city average, and all have a strong preference for Uber Pool rides — the company’s cheapest option, the company said.
Annadale in Staten Island and Belle Harbor in Queens — both of which have average household incomes of at least $100,000 — saw Uber ride increases of 47 percent and 53 percent year-over-year, respectively, Uber claims.
Matthew Daus, the city’s former Taxi and Limousine Commissioner, told The Post that he does not expect a decision to be made at Tuesday’s hearing, but believes both sides will have an opportunity to have their voices heard.
“If the cruising rules do pass, the TLC should make crystal clear what app companies can and cannot do to ensure compliance when managing drivers on their platforms,” Daus said.
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