MP Ben Kallos (Democrat from Manhattan) has introduced a bill to the City Council that, if approved, will help the yellow taxi industry, which is now in disrepair.
The proposal requires that TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) adopt a universal version of a computer application that will allow taxis to operate on the same principle as Uber or Lyft.
Something similar Kallos proposed back in 2014, when Uber was just gaining strength. But a lot has changed since then. Before the pandemic, Uber and Lyft cars made three times as many trips as yellow and green taxis, and eight times in September. According to the author of the new bill, over six years the technology has improved so much that a universal application for calling a car on a smartphone may well be created.
“When I wave my hand in the street to a passing car to make it stop, what difference does it make to me if it is yellow or not yellow? It’s important to drive, ”says Kallos. “In the same way, people should be able to, figuratively speaking,” raise their hand “electronically and receive a response from any driver, regardless of which company he belongs to.”
Will this measure save taxis in New York? In 2012, the price of a medallion exceeded $ 1 million. Since then, it has dropped below $ 250 thousand. Many drivers found themselves in a critical financial situation.
Bhairavi Desai, one of the founders of the Taxi Workers Alliance, is pushing the city to help taxi drivers refinance medallions and guarantee $ 125,000 in aid if they find themselves in debt.
According to Desai, a universal app is necessary, but it cannot replace debt forgiveness, which should be seen as a priority measure.
How to rescue a yellow taxi