New York Put a Hold on New Uber/Lyft Drivers

Blog,Ridesharing • April 24, 2020

A couple of years back in 2018, New York became the first city in the country to establish limits on the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed to operate in the city. They accomplished this by placing restrictions on new vehicle licenses. This is substantial news for Uber and its earnings when you consider that the city is one of the company’s largest markets nationwide. That shouldn’t be a surprise for most. Lyft, a leading rideshare competitor, would be similarly impacted by the new cap. 

When you consider that this cap would have a significant impact on the number of self-driving vehicles operating in the city, it would also have a substantial effect or ride-sharing crashes in the city. Because of this, the new cap is a notable legal update that should be considered for one of the ride-sharing industry’s most crucial areas of operation. 

What Caused the Freeze on New For-Hire Vehicle Licenses in New York?

Before we get too deep into the specific changes that were brought to New York by this package of bills approved by New York’s City Council, it’s crucial that we establish why these decisive measures were implemented. 

New York is renowned for its large population and extremely congested traffic, all of which this legal move was intended to help reduce. Also, Mayor Bill de Blasio had argued that the move would potentially increase the wages of drivers, a benefit that would go along with the reduced gridlock in the city. 

According to a report conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, an organization that has known pro-taxi driver leanings, it was found that around 80,000 drivers in the city are associated with ride-sharing services. This is compared to only just over 14,000 taxi drivers that operate in the city of New York. If we are to believe these figures as accurate, it shows an astounding transformation in how New Yorkers have chosen to pay for transit, but it also helps to better understand the dramatic increase in vehicle congestion in the city. 

When you look at reports like these, in tandem with other findings on congestion in the city, the bills approved by the City Council effectively placed a one-year freeze on new “for-hire vehicle license,” which could apply to new Lyft and Uber drivers. 

What Were the Results?

There have been fewer reports on the extent to which gridlock in the city has been reduced by proposed legal changes in New York. However, it’s fairly unlikely that Uber and other rideshare companies would willingly accept similar changes without fighting back to some degree. 

An article from CNN regarding the New York City Bill reported that Uber was allegedly attempting to “sidestep” the proposed bill by getting around the restriction’s focus on vehicle licenses. The pice further explained that Uber would work around these new restrictions by requesting that current drivers operating on their platform share their vehicles with new drivers who come on board. In this way, the rideshare service would have found a way to effectively avoid that one-year freeze. 

Other leading ride-sharing companies would also likely respond to these kinds of changes due to the extreme importance of New York City for the overall ride-sharing market. Little has been reported on how this bill actually panned out, and by now the one-year period has already lapsed. However, as ride-sharing continues to grow in popularity, it’s not too unlikely that there will be similar legal move pursued in other large cities across the United States. 

If you or a family member in a rides-sharing crash, our team of New Jersey personal injury lawyer at Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC is here to help you discuss your lost compensation. Give us a call to see how we can help. 

Uber & Lyft Accidents in New Jersey

It seems safe to say that rideshare companies have made a massive impact internationally on how we get around every day. Across the globe, there are more than 3 million Uber drivers in operation on a given day. 750,000 of these drivers are based right here in the United States. The vast majority of Uber drivers simply use the platform in order to supplement their income, meaning that they aren’t quite professional drivers. This can prove potentially dangerous for potential passengers who are entrusting these drivers with their lives. 

Not only are Uber and Lyft increasing transit rates nationwide, but many studies show that they are contributing to a dramatic increase in roadway fatalities. Cities that have high adoption rates of ridesharing services have found a nearly 3 percent increase in miles traveled. Many of these drivers spend more than half their time without a passenger, and these drivers are known to cause devastating accidents. One particular case involved a crossing guard who was struck by a rideshare driver who was traveling more than twice the posted speed limit. 

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are beating out the competition to provide cost-effective rides to passengers nationwide, but unlike taxi services, Uber doesn’t hire drivers. Instead, they have independent contractors who use their app as a way to transport passengers. This can create difficulties when pursuing lost compensation after a crash. This blurry legal distinction is often used by these rideshare giants in order to avoid liability for a crash, forcing you to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance coverage instead. This leaves victims vulnerable because the full extent of their injuries will likely go uncovered when dealing with a personal insurance plan.