NYTWA logo: fist around a yellow and red steering wheel


for Wednesday, August 16, 2023


For NYTWA: Bhairavi Desai, [email protected], 917-945-7286

TLC Announces Green Trips Rule With Mandate on Uber and Lyft But Paid For By The Drivers

Statement from Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director, of 27,000-member New York Taxi Workers Alliance:

"Drivers are on the streets longer than most New Yorkers and face higher respiratory health risks. We feel the urgency of our climate crisis and seek to build an industry that can lead the way forward not only in impacting climate change, but also doing so in a way that is just to workers and the working class. The TLC's announcement falls short as it creates a mandate controlled by billion-dollar companies while costs are still shifted onto their drivers. The TLC rule essentially means that, in order to get jobs from Uber and Lyft, all drivers, beginning gradually in 2024, will need to transition to driving either an Electric Vehicle or Wheel-Chair Accessible vehicle by 2030. Since the majority of drivers are the car owners, they will bear the costs of the transition.

There's a long history of the taxi and FHV industry being at the forefront of modernizing the vehicle fleet, such as the TLC incentivizing hybrids beginning in 2007 or mandating wheel-chair accessible vehicles in 2014 for yellow cabs. That history is a source of pride, but also offers lessons in caution so drivers are not left with the costs of having to buy new cars early and paying more for purchasing, repairs and maintenance because of supply chain issues and doing so out-of-pocket without sufficient grants or upfront financial support.

New York State will require all new private car sales to be EV by 2035, so practically the fleet of Uber and Lyft cars will be used to "build the market" for EVs and charging stations. Drivers will have to buy new cars faster yet there are no new monies being announced. Rebates are insufficient and tax credits may reduce tax liabilities, but not give actual cash in the form of refunds. That's potentially over $10,000 more drivers could have to pay upfront without any help. So while the rule requires Uber and Lyft meet certain benchmarks, it’s the drivers who have to pay for the vehicles, and without financial programs to correspond with the rule, drivers alone will bear these costs.

There is a lot at stake here for drivers - from the very air all of us breathe to daily financial survival. For the sake of both, we intend to organize to make sure the city gets this right. We seek to serve in an overall private and public transportation network that is economically just, accessible and leads in combating climate change." 

25 City and State Electeds Call on Exemptions for Taxi Service and FHV Drivers

ICYMI: Today, Assembly Member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas released a letter co-signed by 25 City Council, State Senate and State Assembly Members calling on the Traffic Mobility Board to exempt yellow cab, green cab, and livery service and Uber and Lyft drivers from congestion pricing. The electeds call for any fee on the industry to be limited to a nominal per trip fee paid by Uber and Lyft riders.


About the New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Founded in 1998, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) is the over 27,000-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.

New York Taxi Workers Alliance | [email protected] | NYTWA.org

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