While we support slowing the number of drivers entering the industry, limiting the number of vehicles on the street will lead to all new drivers being forced to lease, which will skyrocket the costs of leasing and vehicle costs as a whole. That is why the City Council agreed to regulate leasing companies.
While the bill to regulate leasing companies is proposed in City Council, our sources say it was written by the bosses of the industry. We have to demand a voice at the table, and we have to demand fairness. If we let up for one second, these companies will get away with anything they want.
In addition, the data the City Council has available that they are using to regulate leases and our pay is not based on reality. The recent Taxi and Limousine Commission study alleges that monthly vehicle leasing averages $635 per MONTH. We all know that right now, the lowest price you can get for an old Toyota Camry is $350 per WEEK.
We cannot allow leasing companies to exploit the vehicle cap to take advantage of our fellow drivers. We demand a fair limit to leasing prices. Sign this petition to demand a fair limit to leasing prices.
On August 8, the New York City Council will vote on what will be a huge win for IDG members. Now it’s time to cross the finish line. These bills will create a fair pay floor, and stop Uber and all the companies from over-hiring.
We wanted to answer some of the questions drivers have asked about Levin’s 144-B (the temporary vehicle cap):
How long will the cap be in effect and when will it go in effect?
The cap is a moratorium for 12 months and goes into effect the day the bill is signed into law. The bill is scheduled to be signed on Tuesday, August 14.
Is this limiting vehicles or drivers?
Vehicles. This is the license the moratorium effects:
The cap is on For-Hire Vehicle Licenses which are what give a vehicle owner the right to have a vehicle operate on the streets (like a medallion), not Universal Drivers Licenses. This is not a limit on TLC Drivers Licenses. The companies will continue to nonstop hire workers, though the hiring will likely slow, especially after four months or so.
I currently own a TLC vehicle, can I replace it?
Yes. If you currently own a vehicle, you may replace it with another vehicle during the 12 month moratorium period. You may not have two TLC-plated vehicles, but you can retire your old vehicle as a TLC plated car.
I’m currently processing my TLC licensure for my vehicle, will I be able to license my car?
Yes. The City Council has promised us that if you are currently in the waiting period to acquire your FHV License, your application will be honored.
My leasing partner currently owns the FHV License, but I am in a Lease-To-Own agreement and will own it within a year. Will I be able to own and operate my vehicle?
Yes. If you entered into a Lease-To-Own agreement before the bill goes into effect and that agreement is longer than two years, if the FHV License is currently under the leasing company, you will be able to get a FHV license for the vehicle and own it.
Will the value and cost of vehicles increase under this bill?
Yes and no. Unlike a medallion, FHV Licenses are non-transferable and cannot be sold on a market, so there’s never going to be a FHV License being sold for $3 million. However, because Uber will continue getting new drivers to enter the market, there is going to be a lot of pressure for current vehicle owners to lease out their cars, and the cost of leasing will likely skyrocket.
Is there any way I can buy a vehicle?
Yes. There are no limits on adding new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, and keep in mind that pay for WAV drivers is going to be significantly higher with our pay regulation bill. You can enter in real mile and minute numbers from a previous trip and see how big the increase would be if you were operating a WAV at http://IDG.ms/testtrip
Does the IDG support this legislation?
Yes, but it isn’t exactly what we wanted. We wanted a driver cap to stop new drivers from entering the industry which would have been much more radical and would have forced wages up throughout the entire industry without any bad effects on drivers. But this vehicle cap does make it harder—though not impossible—for Uber to nonstop hire which is good as it will pressure the companies to treat and pay workers better. Along with the Fair Pay Floor legislation, which will increase driver pay when a company over hires and make it unprofitable for them to continue flooding the market, this is a one-two punch to make things better for us.
But vehicle caps are problematic long term. The byproduct of the vehicle cap is that leasing costs will likely skyrocket if it stays in effect long term because all new drivers are effectively forced to lease or rent. However, this cap is only temporary, so we have a chance to work with the TLC to get vehicle limits, and regulations on companies like American Transit right over the next year. It is a good thing as a temporary measure.
Is there anything else about the bill package drivers should know?
The City Council is also voting on our pay regulation bill which we have been fighting for for two years. After the vote, we take the fight to the TLC to make sure it’s done right. You may test the TLC’s proposed raise here: http://IDG.ms/testtrip In addition, we are working with the City Council on rules to regulate and rein in leasing companies, that bill will be proposed on August 8, along with a health benefits fund.
In addition at the state level, we are continuing to work to expand the Black Car Fund to get them to provide disability insurance, paid time off, and other benefits.
Use this calculator by entering in mileage and minutes from a real trip and see what that trip would pay now compared to what it would pay under the pay floor proposal:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the TLC proposal an hourly wage?
No. You will often hear the media portray they TLC’s proposal as “minimum wage” or $17.22 per hour. We have even mistakenly said $17.22 per hour not realizing it would cause so much confusion. The TLC’s proposal is not hourly pay. It is an increase to the mile and minute rates multiplied by the “utilization rate” or the “business factor” — which is how often a passenger is in your car — of all drivers that are working for the company over the past three months.
Is the TLC proposal an actual pay increase?
If you use the calculator above, the answer is clearly yes. The pay floor is an increase to your pay per mile and per minute you are on a trip, plus more pay for wheelchair accessible vehicle operators, and more pay for each shared ride passenger. We’ll get into the actual numbers below.
Why not just cap drivers or vehicles?
The New York City Council also just proposed rules that will temporarially cap vehicles, and permanently give the Taxi and Limousine Commission the authority to limit vehicles in an ongoing way. The pay floor also ensures if Uber and Lyft hire too many drivers, each driver must be paid more per trip, which makes non-stop hiring drivers unprofitable for the companies, effectively a limit on the number of drivers in addition to the increase in pay.
In New York City, app-based drivers have come together with the Independent Drivers Guild to have a voice in the workplace. Since workers have come together, we have won:
A tipping option nationally, and laws that money from tips will all go to the driver.
We are on the brink of winning a huge pay raise, and we are the highest paid app-based drivers in the country.
We have the right to appeal any unfair firings.
We have workers’ compensation and other vital benefits so if we get hurt on the job, we are paid for days we can’t work.
Drivers are paid to attend Defensive Driving Classes, Heath and Wellness classes, and we run the IDG Education Center to teach drivers how to organize, and how to make this job sustainable.
We are quickly advancing toward a fair industry because of driver unity.
But Chicago is a different story. Uber, Lyft, and Via drivers in Chicago are some of the most underpaid app-based workers in the country. We have no protection from the constant, unrelenting exploitation and no voice with the people making the rules.
If you are ready to unite with your fellow drivers, please fill out this form and when we are ready, we’ll get started organizing.
Este mensaje está escrito en español a continuación
Fellow FHV Worker,
At this point, I don’t have to tell you that the Intro 838-a (The Diaz Bill) would absolutely destroy FHV drivers if passed.
The bill has several sponsors, including New York City Council Member Peter Koo. His district is in Flushing, Queens where thousands of IDG members live. Koo was elected to listen to their concerns, not vote to take our jobs away.
Hi, my name is Dennis Duan and I’m a For-Hire Vehicle Driver and member of the Independent Drivers Guild, who represents over 65,000 app-based professional drivers in NYC. I’m calling to ask Councilman Peter Koo to immediately stop supporting Intro 838-a because it harms workers. Thank you, have a nice day.
We may see a decision on this dangerous bill next week. Don’t let people like Peter Koo cast their votes without hearing from you.
Hailing Chen, Independent Drivers Guild
Trabajadores del volante,
En este momento, no tengo que decirle que la Intro 838-a (The Diaz Bill) destruiría absolutamente los conductores de FHV.
El proyecto de ley tiene varios patrocinadores, incluyendo el miembro del Consejo de la Ciudad de Nueva York, Peter Koo. Su distrito se encuentra en Flushing, Queens, donde viven miles de miembros de IDG. Koo fue elegido para escuchar nuestros preocupaciones, y no para votar a quitarnos nuestros empleos.
Una vez esta conectado, siga el script a continuación:
Hola, mi nombre es ___________ y soy Conductor de vehículos para alquiler y miembro del Independent Drivers Guild, que representa a más de 65,000 conductores profesionales en Nueva York. Llamo para pedirle al concejal Peter Koo que deje de apoyar inmediatamente la Introducción 838-a porque perjudica a los trabajadores. Gracias que tengas un buen día.
Podremos ver una decisión sobre esta peligrosa legislación la próxima semana. No permita que personas como Peter Koo votan sin saber de ti.
Hailing Chen, gremio de conductores independientes
For the past few months, Uber has been pushing alongside the MTA to implement a new tax on the labor of 100,000 immigrant workers. We have been at the table demanding the following:
No new tax without a guarantee that companies cannot take the sum of the tax from our cut of the fare.
No new tax without a social safety net for drivers. If New York is increasing costs to our passengers, a portion, if not all, of the profits should go back to the workers to help us provide for our families.
No new tax without parity across the industry between taxis, black car, and livery.
The final deal was decided late last week. Elected officials agreed on a deal that implements the following to fund the MTA:
A $2.75 tax on for-hire trips beginning or ending under 96th Street in Manhattan, excluding taxi trips.
A 75¢ tax on Via, UberPOOL, and Lyft Line pickups in the same area.
A $2.50 tax on taxi trips beginning or ending in the same area.
Instead of a tax on all vehicles, for-hire vehicles have been singled out to carry the burden for the whole city, while commercial trucks and private cars get off scot-free. It’s clear that for-hire vehicles are seen as the low hanging fruit and there is little doubt that is because monied special interests take precedent and most FHV drivers are immigrants who can’t vote.
Still, we did successfully beat back previous proposals that would have been worse, including a $1 tax on all rides in New York City in addition to the new Manhattan tax for app-based trips, and no tax on any other vehicles.
While we did not win the social safety net for drivers in the budget bill, we believe that we have the support to win in the regular State legislative session. State elected officials could not deliver on the guarantee to stop companies from taking the sum of the tax from our cut of the fare, however all eyes are on our demand that the Taxi and Limousine Commission regulate pay. If the TLC approves our rule, our pay will be protected from this and other taxes. The city’s decision will be announced by May 21st.
With the support of 15,000 petition signers that are struggling to provide for their families, the backing of state and city elected officials, and the support of our partner community organizations, we know that we will win a fair industry.
This new tax will be devastating to some of our members. But by coming together and compelling the TLC and other elected officials to move forward on our otherproposals we will no longer have to face the dilemma of having to choose between spending time with our families and being able to provide for them.
The IDG is a Machinists Union affiliate organizing app-based drivers. We are Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno workers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.
Workers win when we unite and fight. Last year, IDG members organized and won a New York City law and a Taxi and Limousine Commission rule which forced Uber and Via to add a tipping option to their apps, resulting in another $10-$50 in drivers pockets per week. Now we must come together to win a For-Hire Vehicle-specific minimum wage that’s high enough to provide for our families.
The Pay Organizing Committee—the group of workers organizing to win fair pay—approved a proposal to ensure workers can provide for our families. These are our key demands of the proposal:
The IDG demands a minimum pay raise to driver pay—what drivers are paid per trip, per minute and per mile after fees and surcharges—by 37% across all platforms including Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via.
The IDG demands a maximum commission. We must prevent Uber from charging our passengers more than double what a worker is paid. We demand that Uber and other companies must not charge our passengers over 20% what a worker is paid.
The IDG demands workers receive deadhead pay—getting paid for our trip back to New York City while no passenger is in the car.
You may find the full proposal how to improve pay here. If you support our demands, sign our petition, join the Pay Organizing Committee, and tell your fellow drivers.