Int. 1732 would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to establish a maximum rate for leases, rentals, lease-to-own and conditional purchases for For-Hire Vehicles. Such protections are already in place for yellow cabs but do not currently extend to For-Hire drivers.
CITY HALL — On Wednesday, Council Member Francisco Moya introduced a bill in the City Council aimed at protecting For-Hire drivers from predatory lease and rental agreements. The legislation would mandate that the Taxi and Limousine Commission extend its authority to regulate leases, rentals, lease-to-own and conditional purchases to the For-Hire Vehicle sector. This regulatory protection already exists for yellow cab drivers.
“Right now we have a system that fails to protect drivers in the For-Hire sector from predatory financing,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “That’s left too many professional drivers feeling hopeless, trapped inside a sinking car that’s drowning them in debt. For-Hire drivers are working-class men and women just like yellow cab drivers and they deserve the same basic protections that yellow cab drivers won in 2012.”
Council Member Moya worked closely with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance throughout the drafting of this bill to ensure the needs of drivers were represented.
“We applaud Council Member Francisco Moya for taking this important step toward ending predatory vehicle financing and leasing for For-Hire-Vehicle drivers who work for Uber or Lyft, or a traditional black car or livery base,” said Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents both yellow taxi drivers and app drivers. “Since Uber and Lyft entered the market, promising sky-high earnings, connecting drivers to their vehicle leasing partners and even taking the money directly out of driver income to pay for leases and financing, we have seen predatory practices proliferate and drivers stuck in low pay and long-term debt.”
Currently, when a driver leases a car for use as a yellow cab, the TLC caps the cost of that car at $42,900. For-Hire drivers are now fighting for the same protections. In some cases, these drivers end up paying more than twice that amount — and well over the value of the vehicle — simply because they were dispatched by an app.
The bill has been assigned to the Transportation Committee, which is chaired by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
COUNCIL MEMBER MOYA
Council Member Francisco Moya represents the New York City Council’s 21st District, which encompasses Corona, East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Jackson Heights. He chairs the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and sits on seven other committees: Civil Service and Labor; Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations; Finance; Immigration; Land Use; Parks and Recreation; and Hospitals. Additionally, Council Member Moya serves as the vice co-chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC). For more information, please visit council.nyc.gov/francisco-moya/.
NEW YORK TAXI WORKERS ALLIANCE
Founded in 1998, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) is the 21,000-member strong union of NYC professional drivers, uniting drivers of yellow taxi, green cab, App-dispatched, and black cars. We fight for justice, rights, respect and dignity for the over 100,000 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, and standing united won historic first-time regulations on App Companies like Uber and Lyft. To find out more visit nytwa.org, follow us on twitter.com/nytwa or like us on facebook.com/nytwa.