NYTWA Taxi and Uber Drivers
First Raise for Yellow & Green Cabs in 10 Years; Part One of Raise for App Drivers
(New York, NY) After months of organizing by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today on a raise to the yellow and green cab meter and the per mile and minutes rates Uber and Lyft must pay drivers on every trip. The raise is expected to go into effect before the end of the year.
For the first time in 10 years, the yellow and green cab meter will go up by 23% and the Uber and Lyft driver pay rates will increase by 7% Per Minute and 24% Per Mile. App drivers will see another increase in March 2023 based on inflation comparing December 2022 to September 2022.
Driver earnings across the industry have been devastated by the historic rise in inflation and increased operational costs. In a NYTWA survey during the spring when gas prices and cost of food skyrocketed to record numbers, over 70% of drivers reported not having enough money for next month's groceries.
For Uber and Lyft drivers, the victory comes despite Uber staking public opposition to the raise at the TLC public hearing in October. The drivers say they won round 1, and their eyes are set on $25 per hour take home after expenses.
**** Click here to see videos of driver testimonies at the TLC public comments hearing October 6th, and NYTWA can set up one-on-one interviews with any of the members who testified. ****
Uber and Lyft had also denied New York City drivers a fuel surcharge which both companies paid to drivers voluntarily in all other major cities in the country. Despite taking a larger cut of each fare, Uber opposed the TLC weighing the cost of operational expenses on driver income and opposed the month to month comparison on inflation which initially led the TLC to propose a 34% increase in mileage rates. TLC amended their proposal to compare inflation from 2019 to 6-month average of April - September 2022, lowering the raise on App driver per mile rates to 24%.
Yellow cab and for-hire drivers did not get a cap on the leases companies charge drivers.
Drivers say this is part one of the fight, and their campaign will continue until all drivers are able to take home $25 per hour after expenses, and not left short-changed on the lower-paid trips such as App-dispatched, including trips dispatched to yellow and green cabs for Access-A-Ride, or out of town trips for Uber and Lyft drivers. For now, they are celebrating a hard-fought victory coming despite opposition by the companies and after a long delay.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai (she/her) said "After a year of all drivers having to choose between food and fuel, and a decade of not just stagnation but loss for yellow cab drivers in particular, we're relieved to see the raise be voted on. We fought hard for it, and driver unity delivered for all drivers across the industry. The work still remains to get driver income to $25 per hour after expenses. And we still have too many trips such as e-hails for yellow cabs and out-of-town trips for Uber drivers where drivers earn less than they spend. We're going to take the momentum of this driver raise which comes despite company opposition and after a long delay, and use it to power our fight for a job with dignified incomes, job security and retirement."
Md Azizul Haque, NYTWA member and Lyft driver said "We work so hard. This raise is so important for me because maintenance costs and gas costs so high. This extra money will help me to maintain my car and will help me to save some money for my the future."
Mouhamadou Aliyu, NYTWA member and yellow cab medallion owner-driver said "We desperately need the raise for our own survival. Going without a raise last 10 years, no one can survive such terrible situation. The raise is way overdue. After long hours of work at least we will be able to put food on the table, at least be able to provide for my family. Give us the raise now."
Mamadou L Diallo, NYTWA member and Uber and Lyft driver said "This raise is very important for us. After the $2300 a month I pay in rent, the expensive cost of gas and food, what do I have left at the end of the day? Our families, parents, children depend on us but it is not enough. We make New York a 24 hour city. We deserve this raise!" -
Alpha Barry, NYTWA member and Lyft driver said "This raise is a big step towards the $25 hour take-home pay for all drivers we are fighting for. It is a step forward but the fight is not over yet! We thank everyone who made this happen, our union and TLC commission. Driver Power!"
Richard Chow (he/him), NYTWA member and yellow cab medallion owner-driver said, "I am driving for 17 years. This is my only second raise in these years. The increase will be manageable for the public I believe, but for the drivers, it will help us manage our life and our health. We need to pay for our food and for gasoline, and also our children's future and our own retirement. I am very proud of our union that we came together and we made sure all the drivers were protected, yellow cab and Uber drivers, because we are one drivers and one union."
About the New York Taxi Workers Alliance
Founded in 1998, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) is the 25,000-member strong union of NYC taxicab drivers, representing yellow cab drivers, green car, and black car drivers, including drivers for Uber and Lyft. We fight for justice, rights, respect and dignity for the over 150,000 licensed men and women who often labor 12 hour shifts with little pay and few protections in the city's mobile sweatshop. Our members come from every community, garage, and neighborhood. To find out more visit NYTWA.org, follow us on twitter.com/nytwa or like us on facebook.com/nytwa.