Cheap Cab DriversInexpensive taxi drivers
" This was the second such meeting in two month's time when drivers and their supporters bemoaned another attempted suicide attributed to the ascent of ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. As a result of this abrupt surge in the number of rental cars on the city's roads, it has become difficult for drivers to make a reasonable livelihood.
Nicanor Ochisor, a 65 year old cabbie, took his own life on March 16 at his home in Queens. He had drowned because of the loss of value of his estimated diamond taxis on which he had retired, according to his relatives and comrades. In February, after sending a long explanation to Facebook to blame policymakers for the saturation of the roads, Douglas Schifter, the rider, killed himself in front of City Hall.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a non-profit group dedicated to helping drivers, reports that at least two more drivers have committed suicide since December in reaction to increasing pressure. Anxiety and rage that can be seen in the Town Hall provide a disturbing look at the costs of destroying long-standing industry.
Up until recently, taxiing in New York was a gate to the mid-range, especially when drivers could get their fingers on a much sought-after locket (essentially a permission to use their own taxis instead of lease a car from others). As the number of medals set increased, so did the price in general, reaching a peak of over $1 million in 2014 - far outside the budgets of many drivers, but good for medalists who sometimes lent against them.
A lot of drivers are heavily indebted - and far away from the steady lifestyles they once anticipated. "It would be exaggerated to call it a motor of societal movement, but[driving a taxi] is definitely a way men without university education have found to educate and pay money to families," says Julia Ticona, a psychologist who studies work technology, emotion, and disparity at the Data & Society research institution in New York.
Not only is the disturbance financial destabilising for cab drivers, it is also demoralising as it transforms their career into working as gigs. Today, a long-time cabbie proud to know the city's roads is in competition with ten thousand new entrants, some of whom may just be on the road as a sideline.
Although New YorkCity limits the number of amber taxis to just over 13,600, it does not restrict the number of drivers for Uber, Lyft or other service. Contrary to most US towns it is necessary that passengers are admitted by the taxi and limousine commission. About started in 2011 in the town with only 105 vehicles on the street; by 2015 that had risen to 20,000, and today there are more than 63,000 Black automobiles offering trips through various ride-hauling applications, of which 60,000 are associated with About.
Wednesday's recovery analysts said that all drivers were affected, most notably Uber and Lyft. "Uber and Lyft's buisness plan... destroys every rider in the sector," Desai said. "Destructing the full-time workplaces of blue [taxi drivers], blue [taxi drivers], livery workers, and blacks, they are substituting them with poorly rewarded shows where Uber and Lyft drivers themselves cannot live.
" In 2017, a poll by the Independent Drivers Guild, which represented app-based drivers, showed that 57 per cent of those surveyed earned less than $50,000 a year and 22 per cent less than $30,000 a year. Riders and their supporters are hoping that, if anything, the recent series of suicides will force New York City to further tighten the rules on the sector and prevent a fully curbed downward spiral.
Recently, the municipality thought of limiting the number of rental cars on the street in 2015, but fought against the upper limit, and the council did not approve the bill. Stephen Levin, a member of the town council, is now again suggesting a suspension of new car rental licences while the town examines the effects of the industry's upturn.
Council member Ydanis Rodriguez last autumn presented a law that would allow medal holders to run two cars under a locket and thus increase the value of the lockets. Earlier, Rodriguez proposed that the town save the medal holders by saying that "we should find some kind of refund for those who have made investments in the town' s futures by buying them.
The TLC is also considering pilot testing a programme that would enable cab drivers to make advance quotes. Theoretically, this could help them draw those who currently favour forecasting costs over the traffic-dependent prices of amber taxis. A kind of "growth monitoring mechanism" would probably reduce the effects of the carpooling bubble on drivers across the sector.
However, the time when you can retreat on a taxi pedal could be a thing of the past. "Humans are freezing and dream of the notion that the locket system will soon recover," says Schaller. "That may prove perfect for amber cab drivers. It is very hard to see how it could be okay for holders of medallions with yellows taxis.
" To put it another way, it may not be possible to shield every employee from the adverse impact of disruptions - but there is every expectation that new rules could prevent drivers from going to the frantic extreme that the town has experienced in recent years. Independent Drivers Guild signed a contract with Uber that recognised the guild and contributed to financing its continued operation.
It'?s a lot larger than Uber and Lyft.