In New York, the war between Uber and taxis is over

Uber, meanwhile, is gaining access to nearly 14,000 new cars and their drivers, at a time when both may be in short supply. Many workers have stopped driving for the company during the pandemic, and the ride-sharing industry had 22% fewer drivers in New York at the start of this year compared to its peak in April 2019, according to data from the Taxi and Limousine Commission. And that was before rising gas prices caused many DVT drivers to re-examine whether driving made financial sense. (Uber says it now has the most U.S. drivers on the app since the pandemic began, and hasn’t seen a decline in drivers in the U.S. and Canada in recent month).

Uber has been particularly pressed in New York, as the city has since 2018 capped the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed on its roads. In January, there were just over 96,000 vehicle licenses granted in the city, according to the Taxi and Limousine Board, although 30,000 of them were not used that month. This new partnership will allow Uber to offer more trips without adding new cars to the roads.

New deal

The move also has a practical benefit for the once skittish company: It could make Uber more sympathetic to regulators it’s been at odds with. From almost the beginning, Uber dodged government taxi rules by insisting it was a technology platform, not a taxi company. Relations deteriorated in 2017, when the New York Times reported that the company used special software to evade government surveillance. But today, when it comes to partnerships between well-established local taxis and the ride-hail, regulators “want to make that ethos work,” says Daus, the former taxi commissioner. According to him, the multiplication of partnerships between taxi companies and ride-sharing companies will benefit customers, as it will allow them to access more routes, more easily.

Uber has partnered with taxi companies in other countries, such as Spain, Colombia, Germany, Austria and Hong Kong, where it acquired a taxi ride app last year.

The deal will need to be approved by the city’s taxi and limousine commission. In a statement, Acting Commissioner Ryan Wanttaja said, “We are always interested in innovative tools that can expand economic opportunities for taxi drivers.”

Putting taxis on the Uber app could be good news for wheelchair users. There are fewer than 4,000 wheelchair-accessible rideshare vehicles on city roads, and commuters complain they have to wait twice as long as those who don’t need to for a wheelchair-accessible ride . Although the city has lagged in meeting its court-ordered goal of making half of its yellow cabs wheelchair accessible, adding taxis to the Uber app could double the number of cars available. in just a few phone clicks.

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