Councilman Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr calls for implementation of local law 149 to save Uber and Lyft drivers
Councilman Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr has called for implementation of local law 149 to protect the right of yellow cab drivers as Uber and Lyft drivers were grabbing 75 per cent of the ridership from yellow cab drivers.
In a statement to Parkchester Times, councilman Rev Diaz said law 149 which he introduced was duly enacted and the TLC promulgated the regulations almost two years ago. “Why did my bill fail to achieve a level playing field? The answer is shocking. Although the TLC keeps track of the daily data of rides and driver income for “high volume FHV,” it seems that none of the “high volume” FHV such as Uber or Lyft has ever filled out a proper application or paid any fees to the TLC. None. Zero.”
“The TLC is collecting data but not any money from these high-volume operators, and they are not regulating or issuing tickets to them either. The Law, known as Local Law 149, is simply being ignored by the TLC and has been for two years. No wonder the Uber drivers are making five times what the others are making. Most shocking, the application which the law requires all high volume FHV to fill out was only posted online with the TLC in June last month,” said councilman Rev Diaz in reaction to a New York Post article that reported that “NYC’s cabbie workforce down 75 percent amid COVID-19 but Uber and Lyft on Upswing.”
The report went further to state that “June saw 251,696 trips per day for “high volume for hire services”, according to the TLC.
“You should also know my dear readers that the term “high volume FHV” was enacted into Law by my legislation in 2018, which created this new category. While I was Chair of the FHV Committee, the first public hearing focused upon driver suicides and the market domination of the industry by Uber and Lyft. The result was legislation which I wrote in order to level the playing field,” said Rev Diaz.
Rev Diaz said while all others in the industry, Black, Green, Yellow, Livery were being regulated by hundreds of rules and paying thousands of dollars in fees to the TLC, Uber and its counterparts were operating without spending a dime, and without any rules.
“The bill I wrote required the TLC to regulate any for-hire car service which dispatched more than 10,000 vehicles daily, ( High Volume FHV) in several ways including the payment of a fee for each license in the amount of $380,000.00 It was demonstrated by the hearings that in this manner those who were already operating and playing by the rules and paying NYC for the privilege, ( yellow, green, black, livery) could better compete with the newly iPhone dispatched rides, subsidized at ridiculously low rates. Not only were these $5 rides taking from the other car services and taxis but from the subway and busses as well,” observed Rev Diaz.
He said his 149 bill was signed into law on August 8, 2018 by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Rev Diaz said the TLC was requited to issue regulations within 90 days, but that they took almost twice this amount of time.
“As the NY POST article stated, “according to the TLC …” high volume for hire services” saw a jump in daily riders while all others were depleted since February 2019. The Uber drivers were also “earning more than their taxi counterparts” during this period, $1,160 weekly for Uber and $262.00 for others. Someone should investigate this. It is troubling to think that somehow this has been done with the intention to help Uber and LIft and not the Yellow and the rest the industry,” concluded Rev Diaz.