Statement Of New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer On For-Hire Vehicles And The Need For A Transportation Plan
July 21, 2015
It makes no sense to arbitrarily cap Uber and other for-hire vehicle companies before we study the impact of congestion on the streets of New York. We need to make sure that our transportation system works for everyone, including the City’s traditional yellow cabs, for-hire drivers, and most importantly the riding public. We need to think strategically about building out our transportation networks in a way that makes long-term sense for all New Yorkers. In the meantime, we should delay any vote in the Council and begin an earnest discussion about a range of key issues, including:
- Worker’s rights: we must take a close look at wage standards in the shared economy, and reexamine the City’s traditional cab drivers and their working conditions, which for decades have been defined by long hours, low wages, and few, if any benefits.
- Surcharges: we should level the playing field so that all car services, including Uber and other for-hire companies, join yellow cabs in paying surcharges that benefit mass transit and increase accessibility.
- Data Sharing: for-hire vehicles should provide GPS trip data to the City, just as traditional taxis do, to allow transportation planners to accurately gauge demand for services.
- Equal Access: we must make sure that New Yorkers across all boroughs have equal access to the full range of taxi services. That need for equity and fairness is why in 2012 I supported the introduction of green cabs, a fleet that has dramatically improved service to diverse communities throughout the City, making New York a better place to live.
Now is the time to show how thoughtful government regulation can foster innovative businesses, while also improving the lives of workers, safeguarding the public, promoting economic opportunity, and creating a transportation network that works for everyone.