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Tag Archives: taxi

More Women Are Behind the Wheel Driving Cabs in New York City

More and more women are behind the wheel and driving Taxis, Uber and Lyft. With safety not being such a major concern any more, many women are taking on jobs with TLC and e-hailing car services.

Check out the full article here:

More women are behind the wheel – and getting paid.

High crime and dangerous streets have pushed many women out of the industry since the 1970s. But as the city, and services like Uber and Lyft, have beefed up safety measures through new technology, more women are opting into the profession.

Women first became part of New York’s taxi force in the 1940s, according to 2014’s “Taxicab Fact Book.” By the 1970s several thousand women were a part of the city’s yellow taxi fleet, but that figure shrunk to a few hundred by the 1990s, said Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

“There was definitely a mass exit of many female cab drivers in the 1970s due to the wave of crimes,” Fromberg said. “When crime was brought more under control and the city was a significantly safer place, starting in the ’90s, unfortunately women did not come back in those numbers.”

But that’s changing now.

About 349 women were registered as active medallion taxi drivers in 2015, 63 more than 2010, and 1,375 women were working in the for-hire vehicle service industry in the city.

Companies such as Uber and Lyft have made the profession more attractive for women, since they track client information and allow their drivers to make up their own schedule.

“I never thought that I would drive a taxi,” said 53-year-old Bronx resident Adalgisa Sanchez. She started driving with Uber three years ago, after leaving her job as a graphics designer to take care of her daughter. “I didn’t want anybody getting in my car without knowing who they are, and I didn’t want to handle money in my car.”

Uber has about 76,000 women drivers nationwide, about 19% of its fleet. About 30% of Lyft drivers are female.

Women make up about 4% of New York City’s for-hire operators and 1% of medallion drivers.

The flexible scheduling offered by for-hire services has helped make them more attractive for women, especially mothers, compared to working as medallion drivers, who often work set shifts because the vehicle or medallion is shared or rented, according to Bhairavi Desai, founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

“Most women (medallion) drivers I’ve known through the years tend to be driver-owned vehicle operators because they own the vehicle and have more control (over their schedules),” Desai said. “In the same way that women could organize their schedules or sense of control being in the DOV model, that’s similar to how people would view the Uber model.”

Taxi drivers had the highest number of deaths due to violence compared to any other occupation from 2006-2013, according to data from Bloomberg News. And the Bureau of Labor has classified the profession as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

But Fromberg said that the statistics reported by the BLS don’t accurately reflect the industry in New York City. “There is no question in my mind that New York City has skewed the national take on the dangers of being a cab driver.”

Melissa Plaut, a 40-year-old yellow cab driver since 2004, found that being a female cabbie was filled with other pressing concerns outside of the realm of danger.

Plaut who is also a student at Hunter College and the author of “Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do With My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab,” said that the biggest hurdle for her and many other female cabbies was breaking from a shift to use a restroom.

“(It’s) hardest thing about being a female cab driver,” Plaut said.

“Having to look for parking every day and using a restroom somewhere gets expensive. Almost all of the guys I knew circumvented that.”

Photo: AmNY/ Melissa Plaut

Melissa Plaut is the author of “Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do With My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab.”

What you should know about the TLC Critical Driver's Program

If you are a cab or livery driver in New York City, then you are familiar with the TLC’s Critical Driver’s Program. The Critical Driver’s Program is a TLC program that charges additional penalties to a Driver who accumulates a certain number of Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) points on his or her state driver’s license within a certain amount of time due to traffic violations.

If a cab driver accumulates six or more points, but fewer than ten points within 15 months, the TLC will suspend their Taxicab license for 30 days. If a driver accumulates 10 or more points on their license in a 15-month period the TLC will revoke their Taxicab license. This is not to be confused with a DMV suspension.

Drivers are usually given the opportunity to have their points reduced by voluntarily taking ca Defensive Driving course. Before suspending or revoking a Driver’s taxicab license, the Commission will, for purposes of the Critical Driver’s Program deduct three points from the total points. But keep in mind, the point reduction will only count towards points accumulated by the licensee as a result of the conviction for violations that occurred within the 15 months prior to completing the course.

It’s important for all taxicab drivers to be aware of this program. While you may not be subjected to a DMV suspension or revocation, you could lose your job. If you find yourself in this situation you should seek counsel immediately. You can contact us via phone at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

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Drunken Female Real Estate Agent Stole Yellow Cab in Manhattan

A drunken female real estate agent swiped a taxi when the cabby stopped at a Manhattan police station to report her boozed-up misbehavior — grabbing the wheel and taking off as he spoke to cops inside, authorities say.

Kinga Tabares, 27, who works for the Douglas Elliman agency, acted so wildly during the ride in the wee hours of Nov. 13 — even allegedly refusing to pay — that cabby Ronald Desir took her and a pal to the 13th Precinct station house, sources said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old driver picked up the women at Washington and Little West 12th streets, but their boozy buffoonery forced him to make the pit stop at the East 21st Street station house, according to the sources.

Tabares “was so drunk, she didn’t know where she was going,” Desir told The Post, adding that her friend was the “normal” one of the two.

While he was inside the station house asking for help, Tabares allegedly got in the driver’s seat and drove off.

“When I came back outside, they were taking off,” Desir said. When cops caught Tabares in Chelsea, she was vomiting out the driver’s window, the sources said.

The broker was charged with grand larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle and DWI.

She was taken into custody and transported to Bellevue Hospital, where she allegedly refused to take a breath test.

When asked by The Post about the bust, Tabares — who is also taking classes at NYU — claimed that details about her stealing the cab were “completely false” and that “there’s more to this story.”

“I’m not speaking about it until there’s further investigation,” she said.

Tabares’ lawyer, Sean Parmenter, refused to comment any further and added that he was still looking into the case.

Article Originally Featured on the New York Post

*Photo Credit: NYC Taxi by Vinoth Chandar/Source: Flickr

Uber May Expand to Upstate NY: Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse

Lawmakers returning to Albany for the usual debates over taxes and spending will also take on an issue even more basic to many New Yorkers — the options for getting home from the train station, the airport or a long night out on the town.

Uber is hoping lawmakers approve statewide regulations during the 2016 legislative session that will allow the app-based ride-hailing service to expand into upstate cities including Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.

The service is now legally permitted to operate only in the immediate New York City area. The company, whose smartphone-based service allows users to quickly order car service, has expanded rapidly throughout the country in recent years. Josh Mohrer, Uber’s New York general manager, said rules allowing Uber to operate have been passed in 27 states.

“People really want this, being able to push a button and get a ride,” he said. “Buffalo is now the largest American city by population that doesn’t have Uber. My goal is to go where we’re not.”

The company has assembled a large coalition of local mayors, drunken driving activists, state lawmakers and even clergy who support the expansion. Aside from a new transportation alternative, Uber promises to create thousands of flexible driving jobs throughout upstate.

But the taxi companies aren’t giving up without a fight. The industry warns that Uber’s expansion will threaten the jobs of dispatch operators and other back-room employees who aren’t necessary for Uber’s web-based business model. They’ve also questioned the effectiveness of background checks on Uber drivers and said the company’s vehicles are required to be accessible for the disabled.

Bill Yuhnke, president of Buffalo’s Liberty Yellow Cab, said Uber doesn’t want to abide by the same rules — taxes, fare regulations, insurance — that have long applied to the taxi industry. He noted his company has long offered an app that allows riders to order a car.

“It’s not a level playing field. If they played by the same rules I wouldn’t have any problem,” he said, noting that Uber sets its own fares while taxi fares are closely regulated. “You can’t be half pregnant. You’re either a taxi or not. We’ve been doing this for years. We have standards in place.”

Lawmakers are expected to consider various options that would allow Uber — and rival Lyft — to expand throughout the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in October that he is in favor of a statewide licensing system.

“You can’t do Uber city by city,” he said.

Syracuse-area resident Donna Keeping hopes to be one of Uber’s first upstate drivers. The 61-year-old already has a job at a hospital but said driving for Uber part-time could help her cover college tuition for her children. Uber drivers are responsible for maintaining their own vehicles but get to set their own hours, an idea that appeals to Keeping.

“I haven’t found the right scenario for work,” she said. “I’m social. I love to drive. I’m ready to roll as soon I can.”

New York City taxi driver Ayman Ahmed said Uber may be a good fit for people looking for part-time work, but not for full-time taxi drivers. Ahmed left the taxi business to drive for Uber for six weeks, only to find it a disappointment. He said it doesn’t pay as well as driving a cab.

“Uber hires anyone. It might work if you need a few hours. But this is the only job I have,” he said. “I have rent, kids, a wife.”

Article Originally Featured on NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)” By Mark Warner/Source: Flickr

NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Meet Delancey Car Service

Delancey Car Services - New York, NY, United States

We have worked closely with Delancey Car Service for about 10 years.  Many of their drivers bring their tickets to Michael when they need a trusted lawyer to defend their traffic tickets.

Delancey has been in service since 1991.  The owner, Rafael, tells us that their fleet started out small with only 5 cars but has grown exponentially over the years.  They now have about 200 drivers.

Over the years, their technology has also changed.  While many of their clients still call in to request a cab, some of their clients make a reservation online. Their website also makes it possible for clients to pay and specify specific needs or requirements that they may have.  They are currently working on a mobile app that should be available within a year.

Delancey strives for professionalism and offering the best service to their customers.  You can reach them at (212) 228-3301 or visit their website at delanceynyc.com for more information.

*If you know of a cab company that would like to be featured, call us at (212) 227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com with your request.

DWT--Driving While Tired May Be a Felony in New York

Most people have heard of the acronyms DWI, DUI and OUI. But what about Driving While Tired or DWT, is that a crime? Yes, if DWT is due to reckless behavior and results in an injury or death, then DWT can have serious criminal consequences.

The driver whose truck injured comic Tracy Moran and killed Jimmy McNair is awaiting trial in New Jersey on charges of death by auto and multiple counts of assault by auto. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that fatigue of the Walmart truck driver was the cause of the crash. According to the NTSB, “The driver . . . had been on duty for 13 ½ hours of a 14-hour duty day, with more driving planned. He had been awake more than 28 hours when his truck struck the limo van, including an overnight drive from his residence in Georgia to the distribution center at which he was based.”

This weekend, a taxi driver allegedly struck and killed an 88-year-old woman as she was crossing the street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The driver, Salifu Abubkar, allegedly told the police that he had been driving the cab for 16 hours.  According to Taxi and Limousine Commission Rule 2-23(a), that is a no-no: “A driver shall not operate a taxicab for more than twelve (12) consecutive hours.” However, it was later revealed that Mr. Abubkar did not work 16 consecutive hours because he took two breaks during his shift.

Mr. Abubkar was charged with a fairly new law, in New York City failure to yield to a pedestrian or bicyclist by a driver of a motor vehicle when contact results in a physical injury. The law, Section 19-190 of the New York City Administrative Code, which took effect in August 2014, is punished as a misdemeanor, by up to 30 days in jail.

However, while not commenting directly on Mr. Abubkar’s case, the criminal consequences for DWT in New York could be much more severe. Assuming a person feel asleep behind the wheel from fatigue and caused a physical injury or death, the act could be considered reckless behavior and imply several crimes with varying degrees of elements to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In New York, recklessness is defined as awareness and conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

Starting with the most severe, the act could be Manslaughter in the Second Degree, which is “recklessly caus[ing] the death of another person.” The crime is a class C felony, and the maximum prison term is up to 5 to 15 years. There are precedents for such convictions in states like Pennsylvania and Virginia. And there are cases to the contrary, most notably in Indiana, where falling asleep behind the wheel without warning was not considered reckless behavior.

Next are Assault in the Second Degree, a felony, and Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor. The second degree crime is charged when a serious physical injury is caused by means of a dangerous instrument. Yes, under New York law cars are considered dangerous instruments. The third degree crime is defined by recklessly causing only a physical injury. Finally, Reckless Engagement in the Second Degree, also a class A misdemeanor, is recklessly engaging in conduct that creates only a substantial risk of physical injury.

Generally speaking it is bad idea to drive a car if you are tired, which is why medications that cause fatigue come with warnings that read: do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you do DWT, the new pedestrian or bicyclist right of way law may be the least of your problems.

Article Originally Posted on The Huffington Post

*Photo Credit: “sleepy James safari driver in Africa” By: m.shattock/Source: Flickr

Carpooling with UberPool Leads to Love Connections

Uber is fast becoming the Big Apple’s hottest dating app — as single New Yorkers are using the car service’s ride-share option to meet up with strangers for some back-seat romance.

Although taxi riders were once reluctant to share a late-night cab ride with someone they didn’t know, passengers say the UberPool service offers the perfect setting for a spontaneous blind date.

“I’ve actually never met anyone at a bar, but being in a car with someone puts you in a situation to really talk to people,” said Upper East Sider Ian Sebastian Gall, 34.

The Midtown lawyer says he has gotten his share of phone numbers while sharing rides around Manhattan with available women.

While using the ride-share service one evening in September, Gall struck up a conversation with a woman who lived a block away. They chatted about sports — he made fun of her for being a Red Sox fan — and grew so comfortable together that he got her phone number.

On another ride, he convinced an engaged fellow passenger to hook him up with her friend.

Artist Joshua Hurt took an Uber to La Guardia on Friday morning and ended up meeting the man of his dreams. He plans on calling him for a date when he gets back into town later this week.

“I’ve found a lot of things in the back of an Uber and I’ve done a lot of things in the back of an Uber, but I never thought I’d find love in the back of an Uber,” said Hurt, 28, of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

These love connections are possible because New Yorkers are, for the first time, willing to share car rides with strangers.

Back in 2010, the Bloomberg administration experimented with taxi-sharing stands in the hopes of encouraging riders to get into cabs with strangers, saving themselves money and keeping cars off the streets. But passengers were not willing to share their space and the trial fizzled.

Uber, however, seems to have finally cracked the code. During one week in October, nearly 50,000 passengers used the UberPool service, effectively taking a car off the road for the equivalent of 60,000 miles by sharing, company officials said.

The difference is that, unlike with the ride-share stations where passengers had to sort out where they were going and who was paying what, the app does that work for them, said Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York City.

“Riders can’t be standing around asking, ‘Are you going that way?’?” Mohrer explained.

Article Originally Posted on The New York Post

*Photo Credit: “Lincoln Town Car” By: Jason Lawrence/Source: Flickr

Uber Expands to College Towns in Upstate New York to Curb Drunk Driving

Uber Moves to College Towns in Upstate New York to Curb Drunk Driving

As part of the ride-hailing service Uber’s push to expand to upstate New York, it has a specific message for college students: We want to help you get home safely after a night of drinking.

The company’s app is popular among millennials, but it is not available in upstate college towns. Uber officials hope the State Legislature will pass new rules allowing the service to move beyond New York City next year.

Despite its many fans, Uber has faced legal problems in the United States and abroad, and criticism over its aggressive tactics. As part of the company’s efforts to adopt a softer tone, officials have said the service can help reduce drunken driving.

Josh Mohrer, the general manager of Uber NY, spoke at the state Capitol on Tuesday in favor of expanding the ride-sharing service into the Albany area. A Push to Use Ride Sharing to Drive Economic Growth in Upstate New York.

Travis Kalanick, chief of Uber, last month in Munich. He spoke about compromising with regulators he once sparred with.   Some students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Uber and other ride-hailing apps like Lyft. At Syracuse University, Aysha Seedat, the student association president, has recently called attention to the need for the apps in the city. When students leave bars late at night, she said, many are

Friends toast at P.J. Wheelman’s after using the program in Evesham, where local officials said drunken driving had increased.

Over the summer while she was home in northern New Jersey, where Uber operates, Ms. Seedat and her friends used the app instead of trying to figure out who would drive home.

“We’re going to take an Uber, and we’re not going to take any chances,” Ms. Seedat, a 21-year-old senior who is studying public policy, said.

In the next few weeks, the university’s student assembly plans to vote on a resolution to support new ride-hailing legislation. Ms. Seedat has talked to students at other universities, including Rochester Institute of Technology and the State University of New York at Buffalo, about sending a joint letter to state legislators arguing that the services would improve safety.

This month, Uber began offering free rides home from bars in Evesham Township in southern New Jersey, a community where local officials said drunken driving had increased. From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., residents can request a ride from Uber or another ride service, and the township will pay for them through Jan. 2.

“If you feel that you’re not capable of driving home, we’re going to make it really, really simple for you,” the township’s mayor, Randy Brown, said at a news conference this month.

In New York, Long Island is known for having among the highest number of alcohol-related crashes in the state. A crash this summer in Suffolk County, in which a man was charged with driving while intoxicated after hitting and killing four young women riding in a limousine, brought renewed attention to the problem.

About four out of five alcohol-related crashes in the state happened outside New York City in 2013, despite the city’s huge share of the population, according to state data. The counties that include Buffalo and Rochester, where a number of colleges are, also have among the highest number of crashes.

Donald Hallowell, 46, an Uber driver participating in the Evesham program.

The state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving plans to lobby for a ride-hailing bill during the next legislative session, which begins in January. Richard Mallow, the group’s state executive director, said the apps reach young people where they spend much of their time — on their smartphones.

Last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, signaled that he wanted to create a statewide licensing system for ride-hailing companies. As Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, quarreled with Uber this summer over his proposal to cap the number of for-hire vehicles in New York City, Mr. Cuomo praised the company for creating jobs.

But taxi groups and others have questioned whether the company creates good-paying jobs. Uber says its drivers are independent contractors, but several recent local rulings have said that they should be considered employees. Opponents have also argued that new state rules could remove current consumer and driver protections in the industry.

Not all students support the effort. Stony Brook University on Long Island already has plenty of safe travel options for students who are drinking, including a reliable local taxi service called Lindy’s, said Cole Lee, the president of the university’s undergraduate student government. Mr. Lee, 20, who lives on campus and owns a car, has never used Uber.

“Although it sounds nice, I can’t say that I could see it being extremely successful here,” he said.

In Buffalo, a blog and apparel company called Rise Collaborative recently started an online petition calling for ride-hailing apps in upstate New York, and many college students have signed on. The founders of the blog and Ms. Seedat said they were not prompted by Uber officials to take up the cause — they simply see a need for it.

The mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie A. Miner, a Democrat, said she wanted Uber in her city and believed the competition could prompt local car services to improve.

“There is a big need for it here,” she said, “and I think you’re seeing particularly among young people an expectation to have Uber.”

Article Originally Featured on The New York Times

*Photo Credit: “51920006” By: Samantha Cohen/Source: Flickr

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TLC Lawyer: TLC Illegally Took Away Taxi Cars and Ubers

Illegal car seizures violated drivers’ constitutional rights: judge

Original Article Featured on The New York Post

The city Taxi & Limousine Commission violated ​the constitutional rights of ​​ drivers by illegally seizing their cars, a ​Manhattan ​federal judge ruled ​Thursday.

​The ​TLC ​officers have ​been taking the cars of drivers ​they believed were acting as cabbies​ without a hack’s license​, as well as the cars of Uber drivers suspected of driving outside the scope of their licenses.

The vehicles were held until the owners either plead​ed​ guilty and pa​id a fine or post​ed a bond equal to the highest possible penalty.

​In her ruling, ​Judge Valerie Caproni said grabbing drivers’ cars violated their 14th and Fourth amendment rights to due process ​and freedom from unreasonable seizure.

Five ​car owners sued TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, Deputy Commissioner Raymond Scanlon and the city last fall after their cars were seized​. They are just a fraction of the up to 8,000 cars the TLC seizes per year.

“It’s a whole scam,” said Uber driver Michael Krepak, whose car was seized at Kennedy Airport last month. “They are doing it to hundreds of people a day and taking advantage of working people.”

TLC officials said they have instructed their officers to immediately stop seizing cars while the agency ponders its next move.

As a TLC lawyer with over 25 years of experience, we can defend your TLC and NYC traffic tickets.  An experienced Traffic Attorney can help lower points on your license or get rid of charges altogether.  Call (212) 227-9008 immediately or email MichaelBlock.Law@gmail.com for more information on how to fight your NYC traffic tickets.

*Photo Credit: Taxi Driver by Jim Pennucci/Source: Flickr

A New Look for Yellow Cabs to Compete with Uber

Traffic Ticket Lawyer: A New Look for Yellow Cabs in New York City

As of this month, New York City’s standard yellow cab will be the Nissan NV200, reports fortune magazine.  This change should result in a more comfortable ride for passengers as the new vehicle has a sunroof and charging outlets.  The entry of the new vehicles comes at a time of struggle for traditional yellow cabs.  Since Uber has entered New York City, Mayor Bill de Blacio’s administration has attempted to cap the amount of Ubers on the streets, but Uber’s successful campaign against de Blacio’s proposed regulations shut down the possibility of the cap.  The newer solution is to offer a better taxi experience to boost yellow cabs as an industry.

*Photo Credit: “NYC TAXI” By: Vinoth Chandar/Source: Flickr

Taxicab and Limousine Drivers—How many points do I have on my license?

TLC—Taxi Limousine and Commission drivers often face stricter traffic laws and heavier fines than most drivers.  Summonses may contain points or fines which could lead to the suspension and revocation of your TLC hack driver’s license.  As a taxi or limousine driver, you must exercise caution and can be held accountable for:

  • Refusing service to a passenger (on the basis of sex, age, gender, and/or ability).
  • Allowing any other driver to use your license
  • Using a portable or electronic device while operating your vehicle (this includes Bluetooth, cellphone, GPS, tablet and more)
  • Adjusting your meter or vehicle lights
  • Overcharging a passenger
  • Soliciting Passengers
  • Speeding
  • Traffic tickets and TLC tickets
  • Summons from TLC
  • Passenger complaints
  • Insurance Issues
  • DUI and DWI violations

6 or more DMV points in a 15-month time period can lead to a 1 month suspension of TLC driving privileges.  10 or more DMV points in an 18-month time period can lead to a 1 year revocation of your TLC driving privileges. To avoid accruing points, it’s important to exercise caution and seek the representation of an experienced attorney who may be able to fight these penalty points.

If you have any summons, speeding tickets, cellphone tickets, or any other traffic tickets, call (212) 227-9008 or email MichaelBlock.Law@gmail.com to learn more about how we can defend you.

*Photo Credit: “NYC TAXI” By Ian Muttoo

City Council to Hold Vote on Uber Cap Next Week

The City Council will take up a vote on two bills next week that could cause serious problems for Uber and other ride sharing companies. The first bill proposes a moratorium on licenses issued for app-aided private car services in NYC until the industry is sufficiently regulated. The second bill will set up a study to analyze the effect the influx of Uber and ridesharing cars have caused on the city environment in terms of traffic and air quality.

Opponents of these bills could cut thousands of jobs for drivers currently employed by

Uber and believe these new bills are simply Mayor de Blasio’s way of supporting the yellow taxi industry, which was a large source of donations to his mayoral campaign. The yellow taxi industry has been hit especially hard by the competition presented by Uber and Lyft, as evidenced by the value of yellow taxi medallions dropping dramatically and the fact that there are more Uber cars in NYC than yellow taxi cabs.

Do you think this cap is a good thing? Or should Uber be allowed to grow at their own pace?

 

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City Seeks to Limit New For-Hire Cars

Last Tuesday, New York City officials introduced a proposal to limit the number of new for-hire vehicles like the ones employed by Uber. Uber had previously announced its goal to add 10,000 new drivers for the city by the end of this year. The new proposal, however, will limit the amount of drivers that companies like Uber can add to the streets. One reason behind the proposal is the assumption that the 25,000+ vehicles that Uber has already added to the streets of Manhattan since 2011 have caused a rise and worsening in the traffic congestion of the area. The proposal is backed by a study examining the affected traffic, noise, air quality, and public health of NYC. The study is currently undertaken by the Taxi and Limousine Commission which regulates the taxi and car service industry of New York City. Uber has opposed the proposal claiming that the legislation would “stifle innovation”.

Long Island Uber Drivers May Face Jail Time

23 Uber drivers have been charged with violating East Hampton’s taxi licensing law, and the attorney representing the drivers expects that jail time could be a very real possibility. Uber, which came to the Hamptons 3 years ago, was suspended by the town last week for the licensing violations. The penalties for the taxi license violation, which is a misdemeanor crime, are a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Town officials claim that Uber has had over a year to work with the town’s licensing law, but the ride-sharing app chose to withdraw from the town and start a petition campaign instead of complying. Other local-based ride-sharing apps are beginning to launch and could provide competition to Uber if and when the company returns to the Hamptons.

Please let us know your thoughts: Do you think jail is too stiff a penalty for the Uber drivers?

10% of all Uber Rides Happen in China

While it might seem like Uber has taken over New York City, especially since Uber cars now outnumber Yellow taxi cabs, it has just been reported that 10% of all Uber business takes place in China. That works out to 100,000 rides a day in China, compared to the roughly 34,000 rides a day Uber makes in NYC. Still, Yellow taxi cabs make much more rides per day than either of those numbers combined, with a whopping 485,000 rides a day in NYC.

What do you think of these numbers? Are they surprising? Do you expect the number of Uber rides to keep increasing?

Record Number of Fines Issued for Illegal Airport Pickups

Over the past two years, the number of tickets issued by the TLC to taxi drivers for illegal airport tickets has skyrocketed by 150%. The TLC issued 431 illegal pick up tickets in April 2015, compared to 171 issued in April 2013. The yellow cab industry claims that the spike in tickets is due to Uber and other ride-sharing apps that are making illegal pickups, while the TLC claims that the increase came about because they have added many more patrols to the airports to combat the illegal pickups.

If you are a taxi driver and have been issued an illegal airport pick up ticket, please contact us as soon as possible at 212-227-9008 to see how we can help you.

Uber Drivers Turning Cars into Yellow Taxi Cabs

The TLC recently amended a law to allow cars that are not brand new to become yellow taxi cabs, and some drivers have jumped at the chances. The original law, which was enacted almost 20 years ago, stated that only new cars could join the city’s taxi fleet; this amendment allows for cars that are no more than 2 years old to become yellow taxi cabs. 5 drivers have already gone through the process, with another 7 ready to go. One taxi driver was quoted as saying that “There are too many problems driving for Uber,” while another pointed to the fact that Uber has slashed fares in an attempt to undercut competitors. By undercutting fares, some Uber drivers cannot earn as much money and cannot afford to drive full time. Uber has stated that over 100 yellow taxi cabs join its fleet each week since they provide much more flexibility than taxi cab garages which often only offer 12 hour shifts.

Do you think this was a good move by the TLC?

Judge Freezes NYC Taxi Medallions, Denies Seizure Request

A Manhattan judge has put a freeze on 87 medallions and taxi cabs owned by Gene Friedman, the “Taxi Kingpin,” but denied the seizure attempt made by CitiBank to collect on outstanding debt – for now.

Friedman owes CitiBank $31.5 million, and he used the taxi cab medallions as collateral when borrowing the money. The judge ordered Friedman to settle his debt with CitiBank by April 30, otherwise he would grant the seizure request. Friedman claims that he has been unable to pay back the loans due to the financial stress that Uber has put on the NYC taxi industry, and also because of the tightening of the bank’s lending practices.

Will Friedman be able to pay CitiBank what he owes in the next month? Or will Uber put the “Taxi Kingpin” out of business?

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More Uber Cars than Yellow Taxis in New York City

TLC data shows that there are 13,587 Yellow medallion cabs in New York City, compared with 14,088 Uber cars. The New York Post reports that Uber’s “competitive rates and higher pay have quickly lured drivers and customers away from traditional taxi service,” but Yellow taxis still make about 10 times the amount of trips that Uber cars make in the NYC. Uber drivers also do not have to worry about customers that skip out on paying their fare, which is a risk that all Yellow taxi drivers must face. Opponents of Uber, such as the TLC and Committee for Taxi Safety, are concerned because Uber does not pay surcharges to the MTA that help fund traffic improvements, takes away tax revenue from New York City because they do not participate in taxi medallion auctions, and contributes to traffic congestion in the city. What are your thoughts on Uber? Have you used the service or are you an Uber driver? Are the opponents correct?taxi3

Uber Forces "Taxi Kingpin" into Debt

Gene Friedman, known as New York City’s “Taxi Kingpin,” is facing foreclosure on at least 90 of his Yellow Taxi Cab medallions due to the car-hailing app Uber. It has been said that Friedman has been having trouble renting out his medallions because of Uber, and this has affected his ability to pay bills. Friedman, who owns a fleet of 900 Yellow Taxi Cabs, borrowed against his medallions, something an industry source claims in common in the NYC taxi cab industry. The New York Post reports that the value of medallions has dropped from $1.05 million in June 2013 to $800,000 as of this past January, and most experts claim that Uber is the cause for this loss. Citibank has now brought Friedman to court to recoup their money in what they say is an “absolute last resort.” What are your thoughts on Uber and the state of Yellow Taxi Cabs in New York City?

Yellow Cab Fares Dip as Uber and Other Services Pick Up Steam

taxi1The TLC reported that yellow taxi cab rides dropped by 6% from 2013-2014, while black car pickups from app services such as Uber have grown 200% in the same period. That’s not to say that people aren’t using yellow taxi cabs anymore, though – there was an average of 432,763 yellow taxi cab trips per day in 2014, compared with 28,843 Uber trips and 3,973 Lyft trips a day from July through September 2014. Do you think app service rides like Uber will ever overtake yellow taxi cabs? Or will yellow taxis always have a place in New York?

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