CONGESTION OR POLITICS?

New York City has become the first in the country to cap the amount of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.  Was it a decision based on Congestion or Politics?

Aired on August 13, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> FOLLOWING A HISTORIC VOTE BY THE CITY COUNCIL, NEW YORK WILL BECOME THE FIRST MAJOR CITY IN THE COUNTRY TO PUT A CAP ON RIDE SHARING SERVICES LIKE UBER AND LYFT.

THE BILL THE MAYOR IS EXPECTED TO SIGN WILL RESTRICT THE NUMBER OF NEW LICENSES AND ESTABLISH MINIMUM PAYROLLS IN AN ATTEMPT TO INCREASE WAGES FOR DRIVERS AND ALLOW THE YELLOW CAB INDUSTRY SUFFERING GREATLY, TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE.

THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE SEEN AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGNS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE ARGUING THE CAP WOULD ALLOW THE RIDE SHARING COMPANIES EMPLOYEES TO MAKE A MORE REASONABLE WAGE AND THEY OFFER A SERVICE NEW YORKERS DESPERATELY WANT AND NEED.

HERE TO EXPLAIN WHAT THIS BILL MEANS TO THE MANY NEW YORKERS WHO RELY ON THE RIDE SHARING TO GET AROUND EVERYDAY, DANA RUBENSTEIN.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

THE POINT OF IT IS TO CAP THE NUMBER OF RIDES.

IS IT FAIR TO SAY THIS IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A BOOST TO THE YELLOW CAB INDUSTRY?

IT MIGHT SORT OF STABILIZE THE YELLOW CAB INDUSTRY AND STABILIZE THE HEMORRHAGING THEY'VE BEEN EXPERIENCING.

I DON'T THINK IT WILL RESUSCITATE IT.

IT IS CAPPING THE NUMBER OF VEHICLES FOR HIRE VEHICLES ON THE STREETS.

THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SOME ATTRITION.

BUT IT'S NOT -- IT MIGHT HELP A LITTLE BIT BUT IT WON'T SAVE THEM.

SPEAKING OF MIGHT HELP A LITTLE BIT, SOME PEOPLE HAVE SAID THERE'S BEEN SO MANY NEW PEOPLE JOINING THE RIDE-SHARING BUSINESS IT'S CLOGGING UP NEW YORK CITY STREETS.

COULD WE SEE AN EASE IN TRAFFIC?

MAYBE A SLIGHT EASE.

NO ONE IS SORT OF PUBLICLY ARGUING, EXCEPT PERHAPS THE MAYOR, THAT IT WILL MAKENY DISCERN I'M IMPACT ON TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

WHAT WE NEED IS CONGESTION PRICING, BUT IT WON'T ALLOW IT TO GET WORSE.

OKAY.

OR IT WON'T ALLOW IT TO GET WORSE AS FAR AS UBER CONGESTION IS CONCERNED.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BACK AND FORTH WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS FAIR.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT WHILE THIS MIGHT BE HELPING THE TAXICAB INDUSTRY, THIS IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A DETRIMENT AND HURT NEW YORKERS WHO LIVE IN NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE TAXIS DON'T GO OR NOT THAT AVAILABLE AND THEY HALVE RELY ON RIDE SHARING TO GET AROUND.

IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

THERE'S ABOUT 11,400 FOR HIRE VEHICLES IN NEW YORK CITY, NOT CABS, JUST LUXURY LIMOS AND THE REST.

THAT NUMBER ISN'T LIKELY TO CHANGE VERY MUCH.

THE QUESTION IS, NOW THAT THERE'S A CAP, WILL ALL OF THOSE CARS START SERVICING MANHATTAN MORE THAN NOW.

I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY WOULD.

THERE IS A MAJOR LOOPHOLE IN THE BILL WHICH IS IF THE TAXI AND LIMOUSINE COMMISSION IS CONVINCED CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODS ARE GETTING WORSE SERVICE BECAUSE OF THIS LEGISLATION THEY COULD AUTHORIZING MORE.

WHAT ABOUT WHAT LOOKS LIKE A BIG WIN FOR MAYOR DE BLASIO.

FOR A WHILE, UBER BECAME AN ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE FAILED LEGISLATION ON HIS PART.

NOW, THIS LOOKS LIKE HE MIGHT HAVE A W.

YEAH.

IT DOES SORT OF.

HE WAS VERY CAREFUL NOT TO MAKE HIMSELF THE FACE OF THE LEGISLATION WHILE THE DEBATE WAS GOING ON.

EVERY TIME HE WAS ASKED ABOUT IT HE WOULD MAKE POSITIVE NOISES ABOUT IT AND VERY VERY VAGUE.

HE SAYS THE COUNCIL LOOKS LIKE THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING VERY VERY SMART AND I LOOK FORWARD TO LOOKING AT THE LEGISLATION.

NOW, HE'S OWNING ITS MORE EXPLICITLY.

HE'S GOING TO SIGN IT.

YEAH, IT COULD BE -- IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF VINDICATION TO HIM BECAUSE HE TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING THREE YEARS AGO AND FAILED MISERABLY.

BECAUSE HE DIDN'T MAKE IT HIS CAMPAIGN IT'S NOT TOTALLY HIS WIN, IT'S COREY JOHNSON'S WIN, I WOULD SAY.

BEFORE I LET YOU GO, NOTHING IS REALLY REAL UNLESS IT HASN'T BEEN DEBATED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

COUNCIL MEMBER ERIC TWEETED OUT CAPPING THE NUMBER OF RIDE SHARING -- THIS ISN'T A DIRECT QUOTE -- CAPPING THE NUMBER OF RIDE SHARING CARS IS LIKE LIMITING THE NUMBER OF NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTIONS BECAUSE THEY'RE WORRIED BLOCKBUSTER WILL START CLOSESING.

IS THAT A FAIR COMPARISON?

IT'S AN ODD COMPARISON THAT THE CITY SHOULD NOT REGULATE NEW TECHNOLOGIES.

IT IS AN ARGUMENT SOMEONE PRO LIBERTARIAN OR PRO MARKET FORCES THERE ARE CERTAIN EFFECTSHAS ON THE CITY WOULD WANT TO ADDRESS.

I'M NOT SURE THERE'S MUCH MORE OF EQUIVALENT BETWEEN UBER AND NETFLIX.

WHAT DO YOU SEE HAPPENING NEXT IF WE EXPECT THE MAYOR TO SIGN THIS LEGISLATION WITH WORK TO GET WORKED OUT.

DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE IN DEBATE OR SIGNED IN THE LAW?

I THINK IT WILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW.

IT BASICALLY IS GIVING THE COMMISSION AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF AUTHORITY TO DO NEW THINGS.

WILL THEY ALLOW EXCEPTIONS TO THE CAP FOR CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODS AND HOW WILL THAT AFFECT DRIVERS?

WILL THEY RENEW THE CAPS FOR THE YEAR AND WILL THERE BE LAWSUITS FILED?

WE'LL BOB LOOKING FOR A RESPONSE FROM UBER,IDSH COMPANIES.

GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON.

LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU BACK.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Funders

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