New York City has announced a freeze on new VTC (chauffeur-driven) licenses for one year. A minimum wage must also be guaranteed for drivers. These two new measures in the United States put a brake on Uber and Lyft, market leaders. The decree aims to decongest the city and stem the slingshot of traditional yellow taxis.
A first in the United States. New York City on Wednesday passed a bylaw to freeze new licenses for VTC (chauffeur-driven cars) for a year, targeting Uber and Lyft, market leaders, and their competitors Juno and Via. A minimum wage will also be imposed for drivers. Approved by 39 votes in favor and 6 against, the decree must still be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, in favor of the project, before becoming effective. The goal: to decongest the city and stem the scolding of traditional yellow taxi drivers, who suffer a fall in their income due to the competition of the VTC. During this freeze, the New York Vehicle and Driver Authority (TLC) will need to conduct an impact study to measure the effects of this industry on the city.
“Our city is facing a crisis, dragging New Yorkers into poverty and turning our streets into traffic jams,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release. “This decision will stop the influx of cars that contributes to congestion that paralyzes our streets,” before emphasizing, “more than 100,000 workers will see the immediate benefit of this law.”
In 2015, Bill de Blasio had already tried to limit the number of VTCs – to no avail. The minimum wage will have to be determined by the TLC, but a report that the authority has commissioned and validated recommends an hourly wage of 17.22 dollars, according to AFP. In New York State, the minimum wage in effect at the end of the year will be $ 15.
“This 12-month break to issue new VTC licenses will threaten one of the city’s only reliable transportation options, while doing nothing to improve metros or reduce congestion,” Wall Street Journal commented Danielle Filson. Uber spokesperson.
Explosion of the VTC, loss of speed of public transport
Established in 2009 in San Francisco and now valued $ 70 billion, Uber launched in New York in 2011. According to TLC figures, about 37,000 VTCs operated in the city in 2010 for 13,500 taxis. While the number of taxis has not changed, that of the VTC has exploded: they were more than 83,000 in New York in 2017. About 2,000 new vehicles of this kind make their entry each month in the streets of the “Big Apple”. As a result, public transport in the city is slowing down and the streets are congested.
The metro has lost 1.7% of traffic in 2017, and is about to lose 2% this year. As for buses, they suffered a drop in attendance of 5.1% last year, against 4.4% expected for 2018, according to figures from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, company in charge of public transport management At New York. Traditional yellow taxis have seen the price of their license collapse. This famous sesame was selling more than a million dollars in 2014, against less than 200,000 dollars today, according to AFP.
Des précédents en Europe
Ce nouveau modèle de transports est largement questionné en Europe, notamment d’un point de vue sociétal. Souvent contraints au statut d’auto-entrepreneur, les chauffeurs ne sont pas considérés comme des employés de ces entreprises de l’économie dite “collaborative”. Ces dernières n’ont donc pas à garantir de salaire minimum, à régler les congés payés ou encore fournir une assurance maladie. À Londres, Uber s’était vu retirer sa licence en septembre 2017, avant de se la voir prolonger pour quelques mois en juin dernier. L’entreprise californienne s’est aussi vu imposer le paiement d’un salaire minimum pour ses chauffeurs de 7,50 livres de l’heure (8,50 euros) et des congés payés, après avoir perdu en appel un procès en novembre dernier contre le tribunal du travail de Londres.
Precedents in Europe
This new transport model is widely questioned in Europe, particularly from a societal point of view. Often forced into the status of auto-entrepreneur, drivers are not considered as employees of these enterprises of the so-called “collaborative” economy. The latter therefore do not have to guarantee a minimum wage, pay holidays or provide health insurance. In London, Uber had withdrawn its license in September 2017, before being extended for a few months in June. The Californian company was also forced to pay a minimum wage for its drivers of 7.50 pounds an hour (8.50 euros) and paid leave, after losing an appeal last November against the London Labor Court.
Uber was also banned in Turkey in early June and in Bulgaria. The company withdrew from Denmark and Hungary, after passing a law making its activity impossible. In France, Uber announced last May a strengthening of the insurance coverage of its drivers. Until now, Uber proposed in the Hexagon a cover only for accidents. The device will now be expanded to include protections outside races, in case of work stoppage related to injury, illness, or in case of life events such as a birth.