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Uber,lyft and other taxis

Why Uber and Lyft avoid problems with wheelchair accessible vehicles

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The struggle for the expansion of the wheelchair accessible vehicles in the fleet of each company has been going on for a long time, but now it has moved to a new legal level. After long battles of lawyers on disability issues with Taxi and Limousine Commission, the requirement to “provide 50% wheelchair accessible vehicles in the fleet of auto companies that work in the taxi industry” was accepted as a universal rule with no exceptions. But that was before Uber began to undermine the taxi industry as a whole.

Now the commission requires that operators send a wheelchair accessible vehicle for 5% of the entire orders for the car, regardless of whether there was an order for such a category of taxi or not. By the year 2022, this number will increase to 25% of the trips. They also prepare a request to the Manhattan federal judge about banning from work those auto companies that did not apply a new rule.

However, Livery Base Owners Association stated that compliance with the new rules is financially destructive for their industry. Trading groups say that to enforce the new law, an investment of $300 million is needed. Lawyers of auto companies will get together on April 11th to settle this issue. If there are negative outcomes, on April 16th they will ask a federal judge for a preliminary injunction to protect themselves in this case against the city.

A spokesman for the plaintiffs said in a statement “The Taxi and Limousine Commission has still not offered evidence that its irresponsible, illegal mandate will provide adequate service for wheelchair riders. What we do know is that the TLC is overstepping its authority to enact an arbitrary, politically motivated mandate that would needlessly devastate hundreds of small companies and tens of thousands of hardworking drivers.”

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department responded that the for-hire vehicle groups have no case. “These rules fall squarely within TLC’s authority to regulate FHVs, which operate as part of the city’s overall public transportation network,” he said in a statement. “We’ll defend the rules accordingly.”

Uber,lyft and other taxis

How Uber is killing cabs

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Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are crushing the yellow cab industry in New York City – and elected officials are once again starting to take notice.

New York City Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr. introduced a bill that aims to even the playing field by regulating black car services, upping fees and making drivers commit to just one app-based service. Although past efforts to further regulate companies like Uber have failed – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his 2015 plan to cap the number of ride-hailing cars – after a series of suicides by taxi drivers drew attention to the issue, the mayor said he may try again. And Díaz is certainly on board. “We will do whatever is possible,” he said at an April 26 rally. “This has to end. The abuse of the driver has to end.”

The driver that Díaz means is the yellow cab driver, whose active numbers have been falling since de Blasio took office in 2014. Green cabs, which can only pick up passengers on the street outside of Manhattan’s central business district, grew after their August 2013 introduction during the waning days of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. But their numbers have fallen to all-time lows, with many drivers switching to Uber instead.

As of October, there were some 61,000 cars working for Uber, though many drivers work for more than one service, like Lyft or Gett. So the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates car services in the city, tracks all for-hire vehicles – including green cabs – together, giving a fuller picture of the alternatives to yellow cabs.

As the new push for regulation heats up, here’s how the market has changed in de Blasio’s tenure.

Source: https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/transportation/comparing-cabs-uber-new-york-city.html

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Uber,lyft and other taxis

Uber says it will no longer quietly settle sexual misconduct claims

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Uber is reversing the controversial policies on sexual harassment and assault claims that have beleaguered the ride-share company, including quietly settling with victims.

Now, people who file misconduct claims against the company may pursue them in open court, Uber announced.

“The last 18 months have exposed a silent epidemic of sexual assault and harassment that haunts every industry and every community,” Uber said Tuesday. “Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution.”

The Silicon Valley-based company spent more than a year battling a wave of scandals, including allegations it fostered a hostile work environment rampant with sexual harassment.

That’s carried into its policies for addressing sexual misconduct on the part of its passengers and drivers.

Uber will no longer force claims immediately into arbitration, a policy previously engrained into its terms of service.

Instead, claims can be addressed however an employee, driver or passenger who’s been assaulted chooses, the company said. That still includes arbitration as well as court or mediation.

The company’s past policy of keeping all claims confidential is also being scrubbed. Those who opt to reach a settlement will now be free to speak publicly about the allegations.

As many as 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. were found to have acted inappropriately toward passengers since 2014, a CNN investigation published last month found.

Uber on Tuesday said it will release data on sexual assault or harassment in Uber vehicles.

Chief Legal Officer Tony West wrote in a blog post that the report should highlight the complicated issue of reporting assault in the taxi and limousine issue.

“Our message to the world is that we need to turn the lights on,” he wrote. “It starts with improving our product and policies, but it requires so much more, and we’re in it for the long haul.”

The reoport is slated to be released by the end of 2018, and West told the Associated Press there’s speculation “the numbers are going to be disturbing.”

Company executives have taken steps to fix some of the ills plaguing Uber over the last year.

Last month, it announced drivers would be subjected to criminal background checks to weed out bad actors, and provide other safety measures for vehicles using the platform.

Uber was accused last year of running a toxic office environment lacking diversity, with an internal report noting most of its engines were white males.

Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick was booted last June amid news Uber used questionable technology to track competing car services and covering up a major data breach.

Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO last August, addressed the broader problems at Uber in a video released Monday, vowing the compan would start owning its mistakes.

“One of our core values as a company is to always do the right thing,” he said. “And if there are times we fall short, we commit to being open, taking responsibility for the problem and fixing it.”

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/uber-no-longer-quietly-settle-misconduct-claims-article-1.3990709

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Uber,lyft and other taxis

Lyft driver sexually assaulted passenger – again!

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Unfortunately, the problem of sexual violence still remains relevant in modern world. And here is again one more regrettable accident.

During the ride, 24-year- old Raheel Bin Hanif has told the woman that he is a SPA center owner and if she allows massaging her, he would pay $400. As she already had an experience hiring Hanif as a driver, she agreed to take a sip out of the open Four Loko can. After that she felt buzzling and found herself in that spa.

After the promised massage was finished, Hanif offered $1000 in return for sex. The woman declined an offer, but she was exposed to sexual violence anyway. When all that ended, she was driven back home. Next day the driver Hanif was arrested and later he has been prosecuted in connection with three cases of third-degree criminal sexual contact. In case of declaring his guilt, he will be facing a prison time of up to 15 years.

According to CNN, there were more than 100 cases of accusing Uber and Lyft drivers in violence and sexually abusing the passengers during the past few years.

In order to prevent new cases of sexual violence, Uber and Lyft are going to review the latest safety features in their apps, which send location to family or friends and call for emergency help as fast as possible.

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