New York City has been trying to reduce traffic congestion by limiting new licenses to ridesharing drivers and making passengers pay an additional congestion fee. The moves did not stop Uber and Lyft from having their biggest month ever, according to Bloomberg.
Uber completed 17,248,340 trips in March, and Lyft completed 4,699,040. Details about April and May are not yet available.
In August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed bills meant to curb the number of licenses given to new ridesharing drivers, and the surcharge congestion fee was passed earlier this year. New York City also passed a law requiring that Uber and Lyft drivers make a minimum wage, which also affected prices.
The congestion surcharge also affects taxi cab drivers, who have suffered during the rise of Uber and Lyft. In a two-year period ending in December of last year, yellow taxi rides have dropped 22 percent.
Blogger Todd Schneider found that in February 2017, ride-hailing services made 65 percent more pickups than taxis did. And in data collected in August, the two ride-hailing companies combined made more pickups per month than taxis did in any month since the data began being analyzed in 2009.
Because the rules were put in place less than a year ago, however, it will take time to see their full effects.
The proposal, as detailed in documents provided to TechCrunch by Lyft, would have had the companies contributing $20 million per year into a “hardship fund” that would’ve been used to bail out taxi drivers who bought into the old system at great cost and were unlikely to recoup their investment.
But the money was contingent on New York City dropping its proposed regulations that would limit the number of ride-hailing drivers in the city, which would cost the ridesharing companies more than $100 million.
The city rejected the offer immediately.