TLC WAV Rule
The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has proposed a rule that would deeply cut drivers’ income, while they could achieve their same goals without risking our lives. Email the TLC right now to tell them drivers believe in dignity for people in wheelchairs, but the TLC doesn’t have to slash driver income to improve service.
Tomorrow, the TLC is meeting to hear testimony on an unfair and impractical Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) rule. While we support wheelchair accessibility, and we know our fellow workers support getting more Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles on the road, we cannot support a rule so severe, and on such an unrealistic timeline that it will endanger the public by drastically cutting our income.
Tomorrow’s hearing isn’t one New York’s 100,000 FHV workers can afford to ignore.
Already, we’re struggling to make a living while balancing vehicle maintenance, out-of-pocket medical care, and wages that seem to drop every time Uber and Lyft feel like tweaking their algorithms. Now, we’re staring down the barrel of a new Wheelchair Accessibility rule that will decimate our ability to make a living.
We have been trying to make contact with the advocates for people with disabilities to get them to meet with For-Hire Vehicle workers so we can work hand in hand to create a fair rule, but we’re having difficulty getting them to listen, which is why we have to mobilize.
Quick facts about this rule:
- This rule would require that for-hire vehicle bases like Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno dispatch non-black car vehicles to meet the WAV requirements. So, starting January 2018, 10% of all trips that would normally be dispatched to vehicles like yours would be dispatched to current wheelchair accessible vehicles instead, and 25% of all trips by 2020.
- The current supply of accessible vehicles is not nearly enough to cover 10 percent of all trips, most drivers cannot switch to WAV, and there aren’t even enough accessible vehicles in the vicinity to purchase if workers could afford it.
- This rule would slash the business and earnings of New York’s 100,000 FHV drivers deeply and force most mom-and-pop bases to shut down entirely.
- FHV workers and the Guild were not consulted on this rule before its proposal despite enormous impacts.
- The TLC is requiring FHV drivers to do in a few months what took the taxi industry more than a decade to accomplish. All without the 70 million dollars in funding provided to taxi garages through the Taxi Improvement Fund.
- This rule would make it more difficult to survive by owning and operating your own car, and would likely make leasing more expensive, without any dedication to an increase in pay.
- This rule would allow Uber, Lyft, and the other big bases to push all of the costs of converting to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles onto the workers.
We support getting more WAVs on the road, and people in wheelchairs need a better service. But getting more WAVs on the road by cutting the income of 100,000 workers in half is unacceptable. Tell the TLC you oppose this rule. If you have contacts with any advocates for people with disabilities, please tell them we want to work together to build a future that works for people in wheelchairs and hard working drivers alike.