New York aims to impose minimum pay standards on Uber New York aims to impose minimum pay standards on Uber

New York aims to impose minimum pay standards on Uber
14 Aug 2018

New York’s city council has passed a Bill to cap the number of vehicles that Uber and other car-for-hire companies can operate, while also imposing minimum pay standards on their drivers.

The move makes New York the first major US city to limit the number of potential app-based rides available and to impose pay rules as authorities come under increasing pressure to act over pollution and worsening congestion. 

The city is the biggest app-ride market in the US, and growing levels of competition have slashed the value of yellow cab taxi licences from more than US$1 million in 2014 to less than US$200,000 today.

The new Bill, which will be regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), stipulates minimum pay requirements for all app drivers as well as a 12-month cap on all new for-hire-vehicle licences unless they are wheelchair accessible. The TLC recently commissioned a study that recommended drivers should be entitled to a guaranteed income of US$17.22 an hour. The city’s US$15 minimum wage is due to come into effect at the end of 2018, plus a supplement to mitigate against rest time. 

But Uber hit back against the move, saying the 12-month pause would threaten one of the city’s “few reliable transportation options”.

A spokesperson told Hurriyet Daily News: "Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders... to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing."

But New York Mayor and progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio vowed to sign the Bill into law, claiming that it would “stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt”.

Last year, London’s transport authority stripped Uber of its license over safety concerns, but the company appealed the decision and was allowed to continue operating while its case was heard. In June, a British judge overturned the earlier decision and granted the ride-hailing app a 15-month operating permit.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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New York’s city council has passed a Bill to cap the number of vehicles that Uber and other car-for-hire companies can operate, while also imposing minimum pay standards on their drivers.

The move makes New York the first major US city to limit the number of potential app-based rides available and to impose pay rules as authorities come under increasing pressure to act over pollution and worsening congestion. 

The city is the biggest app-ride market in the US, and growing levels of competition have slashed the value of yellow cab taxi licences from more than US$1 million in 2014 to less than US$200,000 today.

The new Bill, which will be regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), stipulates minimum pay requirements for all app drivers as well as a 12-month cap on all new for-hire-vehicle licences unless they are wheelchair accessible. The TLC recently commissioned a study that recommended drivers should be entitled to a guaranteed income of US$17.22 an hour. The city’s US$15 minimum wage is due to come into effect at the end of 2018, plus a supplement to mitigate against rest time. 

But Uber hit back against the move, saying the 12-month pause would threaten one of the city’s “few reliable transportation options”.

A spokesperson told Hurriyet Daily News: "Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders... to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing."

But New York Mayor and progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio vowed to sign the Bill into law, claiming that it would “stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt”.

Last year, London’s transport authority stripped Uber of its license over safety concerns, but the company appealed the decision and was allowed to continue operating while its case was heard. In June, a British judge overturned the earlier decision and granted the ride-hailing app a 15-month operating permit.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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