Uber New York Faces Push Back from Upstate

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Localities banned Uber New York and Lyft outside the New York City area. Alaska and New York remain the only places without statewide ride-hailing regulations. But pundits expect New York to make a decision in a few weeks about Uber New York and ride-hailing in the state.

Yet, bad news may stymie that effort by Uber New York.

“The headlines about Uber are indicative of a company that does not understand its responsibility,” said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Democrat and the sponsor of the Assembly bill, which he said is fair to the company while ensuring protections for riders. “Uber has a lot of answering to do. And we need to be certain that we’re writing legislation for an industry and not one company.”

Other controversies rattled the ride share company.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick argued with an Uber driver over fares. Bloomberg published a video of the exchange. The CEO prefers to take a black car, the high-end service for the platform. In the video, he has an awkward chat with his two female companions. That is, until one of them asked about Uber’s recent misfortune. That is when Uber CEO Travis Kalanick argued with the Uber driver, Fawzi Kamel. Kamel debated with the CEO over fares. Kamel turned over the recording to Bloomberg. He wants to show the public an Uber driver’s struggle. The video shows off an angry side of the well-known executive as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick argued.

Uber refused to comment on the video. The company faced other troubles recently, too. A judge in Brazil determined that an Uber Brazil driver is an employee of the U.S. company. Therefore, the employee should receive workers’ benefits. Uber will appeal the decision by Judge Marcio Toledo Goncalves.

The judge required Uber to pay a driver about $10,000 in compensation for overtime, night shifts and expenses. The court case could spiral out of control for Uber Brazil. Reuters found attacks on drivers increased by ten times. The increase happened after Uber allowed cash payments.

Per Engadget, six drivers died since July 2016 when the option became available. Now the company requires Brazil’s cash users to provide a SSN. Uber riders opened fake accounts and requested rides to rough areas with little consequence. For example, a teenage couple killed a driver, stole his vehicle and left him to die on street. Officials charged them with murder. Uber Brazil ignored the danger. An internal study showed cash payments did not endanger Uber drivers. But drivers and police thought differently. Brazil’s violent crime hovers at more than 10 times that of India.

Furthermore, Uber Brazil’s business increased by 15 times after the cash payments were accepted in Brazil. Uber and Lyft can run in Hillsborough county through 2017, but county regulators want to cut the Commission. The agency controls the county’s for-hire passenger vehicles, but did not get Lyft or Uber on board. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman seeks to treat all the ride companies equally. And none of the companies are happy about it. Companies like Uber and Lyft refuse to pay the city’s $65 per vehicle business tax. Cab companies have done this for years.

In fact, Uber only wants to pay $5,000 each year for all of its drivers in the area. A vote on the tax came soon after. Tampa Bay Times interviewed Carol Vallee, a taxi cab company owner, about the new tax. Plus, she said the city should not have been lax with its current vehicle-for-hire ordinance in recent years.

Uber New York Not The Only Service Facing Trouble

The problem could have been solved as companies like Lyft and Uber started. Now, she said, the companies gained an unfair cost advantage over traditional taxis. Traditional taxis pay a $200 per car fee, the business tax and more for commercial vehicle insurance. Uber may leave the market just as it did in Austin, Texas. Austin required the company to fingerprint its drivers; the city wanted to be able to conduct background checks. A similar issue played out in Florida. But Tallahassee and Gainesville receive between $5,000 and $10,000 from ride share companies.

Source: WXXI News 


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