I sent the following letter to my elected representatives here in the NJ 40th legislative district. You can find your representative at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp. There is no doubt the FLOOD of NYTLC drivers in New Jersey – especially North Jersey and Newark Airport is costing us all money. I have a NYTLC license, but am a NJ resident and would rather driver here, so I don’t use it and don’t drive a NYTLC car. When I was driving, LaGuardia was one of my favorite places to go. LaGuardia would surge almost every night, sometimes as much as 2.5x. On top of that, you could go in the rideshare lot and be 100+ down in the queue and still make it out of there in 20 minutes. Meanwhile Newark handles 5 MILLION more passengers per year and you can wait 2 hours to move 30 spots in the queue. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out the fact 90% of the cars in the lot are from New York has something to do with this. Go anywhere in North Jersey – Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark – and the NYTLC cars are everywhere. As I say in my message to the legislators, what makes this especially galling is the fact while they’re over here stealing out business, we can’t even bring return fares back from New York. I also don’t get how if the airports are all bistate agencies, i.e. the Port Authority of New York and NEW JERSEY the TLC even has jurisdiction there. The problem is, until rideshare came along nobody fought their jurisdiction. Uber couldn’t care less, they get paid no matter who takes the ride, we just need somebody to take up the banner and fight that claim of jurisdiction. A best case scenario would be a retaliatory banning of NYTLC drivers from New Jersey (can you imagine the surges at Newark Airport, or in Hoboken on a Friday night without NYTLC drivers?!?) but I’d settle just to get those return rides from the NYC airports. This I can say; nothing is going to change if we do nothing. It will take only a couple of minutes to hit the link, find your legislator, click the “contact” button and send the message. You can copy and paste mine if you want. One email from me makes me a kook, but if legislators all over the state start getting these emails it might just wake somebody up. Here is the message: I am a part-time Uber driver here in New Jersey, along with being a volunteer firefighter in Little Falls. I know of at least 3 other members of the Little Falls Fire Department who drive for Uber or Lyft (known in the industry as “rideshare”). I’m writing because rideshare drivers in New Jersey are in desperate need of some state protection from out of state drivers. New Jersey currently has no regulation on who the rideshare companies dispatch to calls in New Jersey. If, for example, a New York driver is in New Jersey, Uber will dispatch him to pick up calls in New Jersey. This led to a flood of New York City Taxi & Limousine (NYTLC) licensed drivers in Northern New Jersey. They are easily identifiable by the New York plates which begin with a ‘T’ and end with a ‘C’. They also have the identifier T&LC on the bottom of the plate. Initially New York drivers would do pickups in New Jersey only after being first being dispatched to calls here. Then, after realizing the New Jersey market is easier to drive than the streets of Manhattan, NYTLC drivers began just coming straight to New Jersey to drive. If you go to the rideshare lot at Newark Airport 90% of the cars in the lot are NYTLC. Now, to make matters worse, drivers from New York and Pennsylvania are simply registering as drivers with Uber New Jersey and picking up fares here without even going through the process of getting a T&LC license. What makes this issue especially egregious is that New Jersey drivers are not allowed to pick up fares in New York City; that’s reserved for drivers NYTLC licensees. This includes LaGuardia and JFK Airports, which are run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. NYTLC has declared that since LaGuardia and JFK are physically within the borders of NYC, they are within their jurisdiction. The rideshare companies are obeying this ruling and will not dispatch anybody but NYTLC licensed drivers to calls emanating from those airports. If a New Jersey rideshare driver gets dispatched from New Jersey to either airport in New York, he then must return to New Jersey empty, losing time, money and tolls. Rideshare companies will not even dispatch New Jersey drivers from these airports to destinations in New Jersey. At the very minimum, since the Port Authority is a bistate agency, New Jersey drivers should be allowed to pickup return fares to New Jersey. If the Port Authority and NYTLC refuse to comply with this New York drivers should similarly be banned from pickups at Newark Airport. Either way it is patently unfair that New York rideshare drivers should be allowed to flood the streets and transit centers of New Jersey while New Jersey drivers are completely banned from New York. I look to you, as our elected representative to do something to protect us.