To the editor:
(re: “Drivers call for emergency hearing after rushed vote,” Aug. 22)
After reading Kirstyn Brendlen’s story, I couldn’t help but notice some of the phrases commonly used by Uber/Lyft-related spin, like “transportation desert.” This farce that the residents of Riverdale have no forms of public transportation and are trapped in this sector is complete hogwash.
Besides having adequate mass transit options, I want to remind the residents of Riverdale the service that was provided to them by many community bases that operate in this area, which for many years saved the Riverdale community from their homes by the Henry Hudson Parkway. Which I’ll remind everyone are the same drivers (for the most part) doing the rescuing now.
The price gouging that Uber/Lyft want to justify was never part of the community bases pricing/fares. Why should a company that has 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles need to surge? What triggers the surge? Five extra calls?
I know that calls in Riverdale haven’t increased significantly. This farce of a “cap” that was passed by the Taxi & Limousine Commission is nothing more than that. It also opens up the door for Uber/Lyft to “cross-dispatch” to livery bases, giving these companies an additional 20,000 cars to send calls to. Plus it allows an unlimited amount of electric vehicles to be put into service.
Also wheelchair-accessible vehicles are not included in the “cap,” and drivers can put one of these vehicles into service.
One thing that I do agree with the Independent Drivers Guild — or some of its members — is that once a driver pays for the vehicle, the broker/dealer should have to turn in the plates for that car, and a new plate issued in the name of the person who just paid off his/her car.
The author is a member of the New York City Taxi Medallion Owner Driver Association.