CONGESTION OR POLITICS?

August 14, 2018 at 5:00 am

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 Print

>> 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

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019