We might want to say that the New York City people who run the Taxi And Limousine Commission are being more than a tad mad here. We might also say that they’re being delightfully machiavellian. For they’ve just brought in minimum wage rules which apply to drivers for hail by app rides. But these don’t apply to the more traditional taxi business in the same city. In one sense this is quite mad. In another it’s a typical piece of politics. For the Uber and Lyft drivers have no political power in NYC while the taxi business is quite an organised little political bloc. Thus the latter group not being covered by the restrictions which hit the former is just the exercise of local political power to favour certain special interests.
Not, of course the taxi driers, but those who own the taxis and the taxi companies. Yes, of course, well done progressive machine politics here but that’s all this is:
New York City is the first US city to adopt a minimum wage for drivers working for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) said on Tuesday that it passed rules that will require “high volume” drivers of for-hire vehicles to receive a wage per trip that corresponds to $27.86 per hour, or $17.22 after expenses. The rules will go into effect in mid-January.
Note the important point here:
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved new rules designed to provide a minimum hourly wage of $17.22 (after expenses) for drivers who work with app-based services like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno.
App based services. It doesn’t apply to traditional hails and thus not to traditional taxis.
Most drivers, a TLC-commissioned study found, earn about $11.90 an hour. On an annual basis, the new rules will mean a raise of around $10,000.
Well, no, it won’t, because such a rise in wages will lead to a change in prices, which will change the number of rides. But rather more importantly than that. This new minimum wage. It’s actually rather higher than the average wage of NYC’s Yellow Cab drivers. Now, why is it that the law does that then? Other than if it’s just the exercise of political power in favour of the cab company owners?