Saturday, June 27, 2015

New York City tightens rules for Uber

Last Monday morning the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to tighten it's oversight of Uber. Starting next month Uber will have to give passengers accurate estimates of surge pricing fares, which can be several times their normal advertised rates.

Drivers will be physically unable to input data into their Uber apps while their car is in motion except for one touch to accept a job. Drivers will not be allowed to have more than one app and the app must be attached to the car. The app will not be allowed to have turn by turn navigation directions, and any software change in e hail apps must be reported to the TLC. The original proposed rule required TLC approval of such changes. Uber touts the retreat by the TLC as a major victory. By requiring Uber to report such changes, it's still implicit that the TLC can disapprove a software change.

Also last Monday it had been expected that State Supreme Judge Chen in Queens, was going to require the City to explain why the mayor should not order an immediate ban on Uber. This did not take place. The city made a motion to move the case to Manhattan, apparently a delaying tactic.

Meanwhile traffic has been moving almost ten percent more slowly in Manhattan than in 2011. The TLC and Department of Transportation are sponsoring a City Council Bill to temporarily freeze the addition of livery cars while an environmental impact study is being conducted. Uber did a mass e mail to its customers who live in bill sponsor Steve Kevin's Brooklyn District attacking him. The bill is expected to pass and be signed into law by mayor deBlasio.

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