Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), several city council members and advocates today joined a rally in Manhattan’s Union Square Park celebrating the passage of yesterday’s for-hire vehicle legislation.
Among other things, the package of legislation will set a minimum pay for drivers and mitigate congestion by placing a one-year pause on the number of for-hire vehicles app-based companies are able to have on New York City roads.
“The City is sending a clear message: we’re putting hardworking New Yorkers ahead of corporations,” said de Blasio. “The City Council has spoken boldly, and now we can act. We are taking immediate action for the benefit of more than 100,000 hard-working New Yorkers who deserve a fair wage, and halting the flood of new cars grinding our streets to a halt.”
“The City Council has taken a big step toward creating a fair and equitable framework for overseeing the for-hire vehicle industry in our city. FHV drivers should be able to support themselves and their families without working unhealthy hours, and they shouldn’t have to work longer and longer with each passing month because thousands of new cars are flooding the streets. I’m proud of this package of bills, and I am confident we will see meaningful change that benefits this city,” said Johnson.
At the rally, the Mayor announced:
- That he will be signing the legislation next Tuesday, Aug. 14.
- The City will stop issuing new for-hire licenses that same day, with the exception of wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
- The City will initiate a study to more comprehensively manage the changing industry to reduce congestion and protect workers by ensuring fair pay.
- The City will introduce and adopt a new minimum compensation rule at the Taxi and Limousine Commission within 75 days. Once adopted, it will increase for-hire vehicle driver take-home pay by approximately 20 percent on average – that’s more than $6,000 per year.
“In a just a few years, the number of for-hire vehicles in our city has increased dramatically, snarling traffic and sparking a race to the bottom where all drivers are struggling to make more than poverty wages,” said Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Northern Brooklyn, Boerum Hill), Sponsor of Intro. 144-B.“An average of 2,000 additional vehicles hit the streets every month, while drivers already spend nearly half their time with empty seats. Doing nothing was not an option. I’m proud New York City is leading the way, becoming the first city to comprehensively and thoughtfully address this issue.”
“I’m proud that my bill will make New York City the first city in the country to establish a minimum pay standard and living wage requirement for Uber and Lyft drivers,” said Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington), Sponsor of Intro. 890-B. “These new laws will ensure drivers are paid enough to make ends meet, maintain the level of service provided by these companies today, reduce congestion, and support accessibility. Huge thanks to the courageous for-hire drivers for organizing tirelessly and ringing the alarm bell on driver pay – and to Mayor de Blasio, the Taxi and Limousine Commission and Council Speaker Corey Johnson for taking leadership on this issue.”
“I was proud to support this package and I applaud my colleagues for their critical leadership. I look forward to continued partnership as we assess the For-Hire Vehicle industry and identify ways to sustain livable wages and provide critical transportation services, both of which are of tremendous significance to all New Yorkers,” said City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights).
“I am proud that NYC is the first to enact legislation to support for-hire vehicle drivers. Every day we hear complaints that NYC has become too expensive for hard working New Yorkers and public transportation has become increasingly challenging. For several years, for- hire-vehicle drivers found a way to make a decent living while customers found a better way to get around all five boroughs. But due to an unregulated industry, we now have too much congestion and too many vehicles on the road causing serious competition between drivers. This package of legislation will help all drivers and everyday New Yorkers navigate throughout the city in a more efficient, safe and affordable way,” said City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, Crown Heights).