According to Crain’s New York Business, Uber, the app-based taxi hailing service, believes that NYC taxis should be more like Uber. That’s according to Michael Allegretti, Uber’s New York director of public policy. Allegretti made his statements at a NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) hearing that was intended to focus on a licensing system proposed for app-based companies like Uber. But Mr. Allegretti flipped the script, instead suggesting the agency take the standards Uber has promulgated over the last four years and make them apply to the rest of the for-hire vehicle industry.
Allegretti claims that if NYC taxis follow the Uber model:
- Drivers for NYC taxis, livery cabs, limos, and black cars will be paid $30/hour, vs the current average of $15/hour,
- Customers will get the driver’s license, ID, and contact infomation,
- Customers will know the full price of their trip before it starts, and
- Handicapped-accessible taxis will have to pick up customers within 10 minutes.
Many taxi drivers and representatives of the industry disagree and reject Uber’s claims, stating:
- The value of NYC taxi medallions has dropped considerably with the introduction of app-based hailing systems,
- Taxis should not arbitrarily raise or lower the fare based on demand or weather (as Uber has been criticized of doing),