The New York City Council is expected to vote today on whether to set a minimum wage for ride-hailing app drivers; also under consideration is whether to approve a year-long study to determine whether to put a cap on the number of licenses issued in the city for vehicles for hire. If approved, no new licenses would be issued for the duration of the study, except for those for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Minimum wage. Sponsored by Council Member Brad S. Lander, the minimum wage bill would ensure ride-hailing app drivers’ pay is no lower than taxicab drivers’ hourly income nor the minimum wage required of large employers in New York City.
A report prepared by James A. Parrott and Michael Reich for the NYC New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission recommended a minimum wage of $17.22 for ride-hailing drivers.
If passed, the law would go into effect in 180 days.
“Thousands of working families across the city right now are desperate. Professional drivers are being paid less than minimum wage by apps like Uber and Lyft, while the companies take more and more from each fare. This vote is an opportunity for New York to be on the right side of history and lead the way for a more fair ride-hail industry,” said Ryan Price, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “Drivers have fought long and hard to get this point. Now it’s time for City Council to do its part.”
License cap. Sponsored by Council Member Stephen T. Levin, another bill would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to conduct a study to determine whether to regulate the number of for-hire vehicle licenses given in the city. During the one-year study, if approved, no new for-hire vehicle licenses would be issued, with an exception for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Uber and its competitors have campaigned against the proposed cap via various media outlets as well as a direct appeal to riders. Meanwhile, taxi drivers as well as current Uber drivers support the cap.