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Uber sues NYC Taxi & Limo Commission to block rate increase for drivers • TechCrunch

Uber is suing the New York Metropolis Taxi & Limousine Fee (TLC), which last month approved a fare hike for ride-hail apps and taxi drivers amid a post-pandemic driver scarcity, rising operational prices and better inflation. The ride-hail firm is trying to forestall a rise in charges it should pay drivers in NYC by December 19.

On November 15, the TLC voted to extend the per-minute charges of ride-hail drivers by 7.42% and per-mile charges by 23.93%, a transfer by the fee that’s meant to draw extra drivers to the roads to serve growing passenger demand. In its petition, Uber known as the will increase “dramatic, unprecedented and unsupported hikes,” noting that earlier fare will increase have ranged from 1.46% to five.34% and “precisely mirrored the influence of inflation.”

Uber accused the TLC of utilizing unsound financial ideas to “obtain a predetermined end result.” The corporate mentioned the rule would drive Uber to spend an extra $21 million to $23 million per thirty days, a value from which the corporate couldn’t get well. Uber might alternatively offset the extra funds by growing rider fares, however the firm mentioned that may lead to 10% improve for riders, which might “irreparably injury Uber’s fame, impair goodwill and danger everlasting lack of enterprise and clients.”

The ride-hail large went on to say that the challenged rule will hurt riders, drivers and the ride-share trade as an entire. Uber accused the TLC of not proposing an answer to stability these dangers.

“A price improve of this magnitude could very possible lead to greater rider fares,” reads the lawsuit. “These greater fares, in flip, will depress the variety of rides requested by way of the Uber platform. Fewer requested rides interprets into fewer alternatives for Drivers to earn charges. The Challenged Rule might very nicely have the impact of harming Driver earnings, undermining the aim of those rules.”

Uber has requested the court docket to situation a short lived restraining order and preliminary injunction to dam the implementation of the TLC’s rule pending a choice on Uber’s petition to dam it solely.

Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Do mentioned in an announcement that town should “stand behind our employees with out conventional employment protections.”

“New York Metropolis leads the nation in defending drivers, and this vital rule displays that actuality,” Do mentioned. “We’re assured that we’re nicely inside our authorized authority in implementing this vital rule, and we’re vigorously preventing this lawsuit.”

Uber has challenged rulings up to now which are designed to guard gig employees. A California superior court docket final 12 months dominated Proposition 22 — a poll proposal that was handed in 2020 and defines ride-hail and gig employees as impartial contractors, not workers, and thus not eligible for sure labor protections — was unconstitutional and unenforceable. Uber in flip filed an appeal to invalidate AB-5, California’s controversial law on the employment standing of gig employees, as unconstitutional and block its enforcement. This continuous volley within the courts buys Uber time by clogging up the authorized system so the corporate can proceed to function with out making adjustments.

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