Six months after New York City legislators introduced a one-of-a-kind cap on the number of cars driving grimaces into the city, Uber sued for it.
In his lawsuit filed Friday afternoon in a New York state court, Uber claims that the one-year freeze on motor vehicle licenses is anti-competitive and exceeds the authority of the city. He also argues that there are better anti-trafficking policies, tools that do not specifically target strike companies.
This latest battle puts an end to a few months of scathing drama on the regulation of strike conduct in the city, which has seen the "disruptive" technologies of the transport sector oppose some of the first rules of conduct in force applied by the leaders of the American city. In January, the city began billing $ 2.75 for "congestion charges" on every app-driven route through Manhattan's largest business district. This month, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission passed a law that will guarantee taxi drivers a minimum wage – and will require companies to cover all travel expenses. (Lyft and Juno sued to put an end to these rules.)
Uber spokesman Harry Hartfield said on Friday that the city's cap prevented more drivers from taking advantage of the minimum wage law. "We agree that the fight against congestion is a priority, which is why we support the state's vision on congestion pricing, the only plan based on evidence to reduce traffic and finance public transport, "he said.
Congestion pricing, a policy implemented in cities such as London, Milan and Singapore, imposes driving fees to enter certain roads, sometimes at peak times. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now pushing for a plan that would increase tolls for all drivers entering downtown and downtown Manhattan.
Officials in New York City seem ready to fight. "No court challenge changes the fact that Uber has aggravated road congestion on our roads and paid their drivers less than a living wage," said Seth Stein, spokesman for the New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, in a statement. "The new laws of the city aim to change that."
Nearly 106,000 rental vehicles, including black cars and snowmobiles, are allowed to move in New York, a 60% increase since 2016. A recent study suggests that even shared hail trips, such as UberPools and Shared Lyfts, have increased the number of kilometers traveled on the city's roads, thus contributing to its traffic problems.
Uber, Lyft and their competitors have built their business in the gray areas of municipal taxi and labor regulations, claiming since their inception that they were technology platforms and not airlines. taxis. But New York has classified anti-hail driving vehicles into its pre-existing category of "rental vehicles," which gives it more regulatory authority over businesses than other city halls.
Nevertheless, many places are interested in new ways to regulate or tax Uber and Lyft, both of which are about to be floated this year. Cities like Washington, DC and Chicago have passed laws that increase taxes and royalties on jet vehicles, money going to public transit. And San Francisco tried to understand how corporations were contributing to the terrible traffic problem in the city and to persuade the state of California to do something about it.
Uber has not played well with New York, one of its biggest markets. In 2015, the company attempted to limit licenses with a "Blasio mode" feature in its application, indicating waiting times of 25 minutes and urging runners to contact local lawmakers if they wished to faster and cheaper journeys.
In the latest clash between New York and Uber, the company argued that limiting the number of cars in the city would prolong wait times and accessibility, especially in minority communities in the city's outlying neighborhoods. the city. The city's taxi and limousine commission said it was monitoring the availability of rental vehicles in outlying boroughs and could lift the moratorium on new licenses in some neighborhoods if it met more waiting times. long.
The Uber trial also finds a solution in the city's metro, which it describes as "overcapacity, underfunded and poorly maintained". So there is at least one argument that no judge or jury will reject.
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