NYC’s Uber Regulations Could Cause Issues on Staten Island
New York City, like every major city in pretty much the world has benefited amazingly from the popularity of taxi services and apps like Uber, and Lyft. And while most states barely had a taxi and limousine culture, companies like Uber and Lyft could go fairly unregulated. However, NYC’s long-standing tradition of yellow cab service (and now green cabs of course) has prompted state and city legislators to enact harsher regulations on those who choose to drive for these taxi companies. Lifelong New Yorker, Frank Camuso US feels apps like Uber and Lyft are both good and bad as they provide citizens an alternative means of transportation, and a quick ride, straight from their smartphone – they also have been known to take money out of the pockets of yellow cab drivers who may spent thousands renting a cab or even millions to own a medallion themselves. Most New Yorkers like Frank Camuso, however, do benefit from the cheaper prices and influx of cabs available on the street. Plus being able to track and get up to the minute reviews on your drivers don’t hurt either.
In order to stifle growth of these companies and the effect they are having on both traffic congestion and the traditional; NYC yellow cab industry, lawmakers have proposed 5 separate bills that must be voted on. The first such bill will propose a one-year hiring freeze for all such taxi and limousine companies. Meaning that Uber and Lyft cannot hire any additional drivers for the next year, this does also mean that no drivers who are on the road right now will be taken off the road – which helps those who already have the job. Most New Yorkers like Frank Camuso seem to be in favor of this because, one year really isn’t too long, and it doesn’t cause anybody to lose their job. And this one single year could have a profound effect on traffic conditions. Companies like Uber and Lyft claim that this would cause issues in areas that are currently underserved – outer boroughs like Staten Island being the most prominent. This would mean that Staten Island natives like Frank Camuso through no fault of their own would be subject to longer wait times and huge fare hikes.
Recent polls of Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso and his wife Christine reveals that thousands of Staten Islanders love what Uber and other ride-sharing/taxi apps have done for their transportation ability. Public transportation is the worst of any borough on Staten Island, and it has traditionally been ignored by most yellow cab drivers because rides are few and far in between. At the very least Uber and Lyft make it possible for someone like Frank Camuso to be able to get a safe cab ride home from a night of drinking in Manhattan within a few minutes. Especially late at night, the practice of standing on corners hailing cabs has been admonished by lawmakers as certain desolate areas are quite unsafe and one could be waiting for an hour waiting for a ride.
At least with Uber, someone like Frank Camuso can feel at ease that he and his wife will have safe, time transparent transportation from a driver who has a registered profile with Uber or Lyft. With such bills being such a hot-button issue, Uber and Lyft are encouraging customers to sign petitions and help prevent the bill from passing. In the meantime, Staten Islanders can enjoy Uber and Lyft without the unnecessary fare hikes or long wait times.