Dear Council Member:

In 2015, Uber spent millions to strong-arm City Council members and the Mayor, using lies and fear mongering, a tactic we have come to know all too well in Trump’s America. Few were surprised when Uber’s disgraced founder signed on as an early adviser to the Trump administration.  Since 2015, Uber has been called out countless times for the poverty level wages it pays its drivers, its culture of lying, recklessness, aggression, sexual harassment, deceptive business practices and dishonesty. And its at it again.

Back in 2015, Uber had approximately 18,000 vehicles and told City Hall it would curb its growth. Today, Uber alone has 77,000 vehicles. The For-Hire-Vehicle sector has grown from 40,000 vehicles just a few years ago to a stunning 110,000 vehicles today and is widely blamed by independent traffic engineers for the sharp increase in congestion. See today’s Daily News: 

Uber’s BIGGEST LIE is that smart regulation would diminish service in the boroughs outside of Manhattan and particularly in communities of color. 

One Uber ad campaign boasts that “Uber’s there, no matter when, no matter where” and shows neighborhoods throughout the boroughs receiving service. Uber is now disingenuously asserting that the City Council bills would diminish service in those very neighborhoods. This is 100% false. The City Council bills keep Uber’s numbers EXACTLY the same and provide the company with the ability to grow its service to underserved communities NOW. Uber, you can’t have it both ways. Here are the facts:
  • There is an EXEMPTION in the 12-month pause for underserved areas of the city.
  • There is an EXEMPTION in the 12-month pause for ANY wheelchair accessible Uber anywhere in the city including Manhattan where most Uber’s operate. By calling this "a cap” Uber is insulting thousands of New Yorkers who use wheelchairs. 
  • By creating utilization standards for operating in congested midtown Manhattan , there would be MORE Ubers available in the boroughs , not less. 
  • Uber has caused immense harm to minority yellow and green taxi drivers, several of whom took their own lives this year, finding it impossible to compete with the 70 billion dollar corporation and its focus on maximizing profits for its investors at Goldman Sachs and Saudi Arabia - at all costs.
Uber says it’s prices will go up. Uber has created a race to the bottom where it grossly underpays it’s drivers. It has also taken passengers out of the subways and buses, more environmentally friendly options. These bills would ensure drivers are paid a fair living wage and that they don’t artificially lower their prices at the expense of driver incomes, air quality, congestion and public transportation.

Uber says people will wait longer for their rides. False. Ubers are highly inefficient and do only a handful of fares per day. Uber drivers constantly complain that there are too many vehicles and not enough demand. Passengers and drivers both benefit from a “right sized” Uber fleet.

The City Council’s reform package brings long overdue regulation to the rideshare industry - just like yellows and greens. Why should Uber, a $70 billion Silicon Valley mega corporation, have a special exemption from sensible regulation?

Uber cares about its bottom line - not everyday New Yorkers . Isn’t it time we stopped trusting Uber? Take back control of our streets. Pass the FHV reform package on August 8th. 

Pass Intros 144, 634, 838 and 890.

Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade