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Will Uber Pull Out of Westchester County?

Maven

Well-Known Member
Isn't chaos fun? Nothing like a last minute political showdown on Wednesday June 28th, the day before the new law is supposed to take effect on Thursday June 29th. Gotta love Westchester County politics. Will anybody discuss or champion the 10,000 drivers that have signed up to drive for Uber in Westchester county? LOL.

Uber will pull out of Westchester completely if county stands firm on demands
Lohud, June 23, 2017 by Matt Coyne

Uber will pull out of Westchester County if county leaders continue to demand more regulation for ride-hailing services. Yonkers, as the only Westchester city of 100,000 population, would not be affected by a county decision to opt out.

Should the county Board of Legislators vote at a special meeting Wednesday to opt out of state regulations allowing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate statewide, Uber NY Senior Policy Manager Josh Gold said they would shut the app off entirely.

That means:
  • there will be no legal rides into New York City
  • there will be no illegal rides inside the county
  • the county will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from fines now imposed
  • it would leave Westchester as the only locale in the New York metropolitan area without the service
"If the county executive and the legislature don’t want us there, then we’ll turn off the app," Gold said Thursday afternoon.

Uber, the ride-hailing industry's leader valued at $70 billion, plans to launch an extensive campaign against the legislation, including radio ads, mailers and emails in the run up to Wednesday's meeting — the day before the state regulations are scheduled to kick in.

In the last several weeks, Uber has signed up 10,000 drivers to work in Westchester. It has been operating illegally in Westchester for some time but paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for making illegal ride pickups. <Wrong! Drivers, not Uber, have paid those fines. :mad:>

Regulations for ride-hailing — where a potential passenger can set up a ride with an app on their smartphone — were hashed out over several years in Albany. The regulations include background checks for drivers and allows Uber to buy insurance on behalf of drivers.

The regulations, put together by the Department of Motor Vehicles, also allow counties and cities with more than 100,000 people to choose to opt-out.

No mood to negotiate
Officials from Westchester seem to think they can negotiate with Uber, but the company does not appear interested.

Thursday afternoon Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz likened the company to bullies and said not seeking further regulation would be acting irresponsibly on behalf of residents when their safety is at stake.

"I don't want anyone's blood on my hands," the Somers Democrat said. "If they don't go through TLC, there's going to be a driver that shouldn't be driving (that will crash)."

Gold made it seem Uber would not come to the table again.

"For the past six years, we have had the option of opening a taxi business," he said. "We will not be opening a taxi business in Westchester County."

“Over 40 states have statewide regulations. New York did something a little bit different that allowed individual counties to ban Uber. Westchester looks like they're going to be the only one (to opt out)," Gold added. "On June 29, in the other 52 counties in the state of New York, you’re going to be able to pick up your phone, press a button and get Uber. In Westchester, you’re not going to be able to do that.”

Both Kaplowitz and Astorino's office said Westchester could work together with Nassau County and Yonkers to come up with their own ride-hailing rules.

Astorino spokesman Jerry McKinstry said the county also wanted more thorough background checks and fingerprinting. He said the county was meeting with Uber and Lyft and continuing discussions with Nassau and Yonkers, which can opt out based on its population.

Brian Nevin, a spokesman for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano would only confirm that the two county executives had spoken and that "we're looking at some similar laws for our counties."

Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin said via email there was no effort to opt-out "at this time." Yonkers, as the only Westchester city of 100,000 population, would not be affected by the county's decision to opt out.

"Safety concerns are paramount and as in many municipalities, there has been talk of looking at fingerprinting and additional background checks as a way to keep riders safe, as is done with other taxi and livery cabs," he wrote.

Kaplowitz said all he wanted was the same thing New York City got from Uber when the company agreed to operate as a black car service. If Uber refuses, he said, a competitor would step up.

"What if Lyft does? Then everybody should call Lyft and Uber can take a long walk on a short pier," Kaplowitz said. "There’s at least one other company out there that will compete. They won’t want to lose a million people.”

Lyft is valued at approximately one-tenth the value of Uber.
 
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Maven

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
2 days earlier there was a related article, also from Matt Coyne of Lohud. Resistance coming from Taxi operators, among those with the most to lose. Also, Westchester could lose fine revenue with Uber/Lyft legalization, which drivers have been paying with little or no support from Uber.
______

Westchester: With deadline closing in, ride-hailing fight continues
Lohud, June 21, 2017 by Matt Coyne and Mark Lungariello

With fewer than 10 days remaining until companies like Uber and Lyft can officially take to Westchester streets, the fight over ride-hailing isn't over yet.

On June 29, New Yorkers who live outside the five boroughs will be able to use smartphone apps to call a cab, with Uber reporting 10,000 drivers signed up in Westchester alone.

But opponents of ride-hailing continue to lobby the county to opt-out of the state-crafted regulations, and County Executive Rob Astorino continues to negotiate more stringent regulations that would appease the existing taxi and limousine companies.

Counties and cities with more than 100,000 people are allowed to opt out of the service.

“I have no problem with Uber coming into Westchester, as long as they are registered and follow our rules and regulations," Joseph Gross, owner of Eclipse Limousine, said at Monday night's Board of Legislators meeting.

Gross, and several other speakers at the meeting, said drivers for ride-hailing services will be able to play by their own set of rules unless the county opts-out and draws up its own rules. A driver for a ride-hailing company would not have to undergo drug testing, they said, or get fingerprinted, as required by the county Taxi and Limousine Commission.

"Your TLC commissioner will tell you that about 32 percent of the applicants under your present rules can’t drive in Westchester," said attorney Arthur Goldstein, citing figures of potential taxi drivers disqualified by fingerprinting. "Where do we think these drivers are going to rush to on June 29? They're going to flock to Uber and Lyft.

"I’m asking all of you to stand up to this $65 billion company that will spend six figures on advertising," Goldstein added.

Astorino and members of the county TLC twice canceled meetings with the legislature's public safety committee on ride-hailing. Monday, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett asked the committee chairman to defer discussing the new law until after Westchester can work with Nassau County and Yonkers to present a joint proposal to Uber.

Plunkett told committee members that there “are very serious concerns” about safety checks and implementing the new regulations.

County lawmakers, some of whom have publicly supported Uber in the past, have said they want to review the regulations, written by the state Department of Motor Vehicles before choosing to stick with the state's rules or opt-out and write their own.

Uber already operates in Westchester illegally, and legalization could mean a loss of $800,000 in revenue from fines.

Plunkett said Westchester is aiming that whether it opts out or not, it would be consistent with Yonkers.

If the county does opt-out before June 29, they would have to call a special meeting to do so. The next full board meeting is July 19.

Meanwhile, Uber wrote to the legislature and Astorino Tuesday morning.

"We understand the incumbent taxi industry is putting immense pressure on you so we'd like to take a moment to assuage any concerns that have been raised," wrote Uber NY's Senior Policy Manager Josh Gold.

Gold cites a poll that says Uber has the support of nearly 80 percent of suburban voters, an American Public Transportation Association study that found ride-hailing services bolster public transit use and a study from Temple University that found Uber decreases drunk driving deaths.

"We are eager to work with stakeholders in your community to ensure that ride sharing is serving the people of Westchester County," the letter reads. "We are hopeful you will listen to your constituents who are demanding this service and allow ride sharing to operate."
 

Big man xl

Well-Known Member
2 days earlier there was a related article, also from Matt Coyne of Lohud. Resistance coming from Taxi operators, among those with the most to lose. Also, Westchester could lose fine revenue with Uber/Lyft legalization, which drivers have been paying with little or no support from Uber.
______

Westchester: With deadline closing in, ride-hailing fight continues
Lohud, June 21, 2017 by Matt Coyne and Mark Lungariello

With fewer than 10 days remaining until companies like Uber and Lyft can officially take to Westchester streets, the fight over ride-hailing isn't over yet.

On June 29, New Yorkers who live outside the five boroughs will be able to use smartphone apps to call a cab, with Uber reporting 10,000 drivers signed up in Westchester alone.

But opponents of ride-hailing continue to lobby the county to opt-out of the state-crafted regulations, and County Executive Rob Astorino continues to negotiate more stringent regulations that would appease the existing taxi and limousine companies.

Counties and cities with more than 100,000 people are allowed to opt out of the service.

“I have no problem with Uber coming into Westchester, as long as they are registered and follow our rules and regulations," Joseph Gross, owner of Eclipse Limousine, said at Monday night's Board of Legislators meeting.

Gross, and several other speakers at the meeting, said drivers for ride-hailing services will be able to play by their own set of rules unless the county opts-out and draws up its own rules. A driver for a ride-hailing company would not have to undergo drug testing, they said, or get fingerprinted, as required by the county Taxi and Limousine Commission.

"Your TLC commissioner will tell you that about 32 percent of the applicants under your present rules can’t drive in Westchester," said attorney Arthur Goldstein, citing figures of potential taxi drivers disqualified by fingerprinting. "Where do we think these drivers are going to rush to on June 29? They're going to flock to Uber and Lyft.

"I’m asking all of you to stand up to this $65 billion company that will spend six figures on advertising," Goldstein added.

Astorino and members of the county TLC twice canceled meetings with the legislature's public safety committee on ride-hailing. Monday, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett asked the committee chairman to defer discussing the new law until after Westchester can work with Nassau County and Yonkers to present a joint proposal to Uber.

Plunkett told committee members that there “are very serious concerns” about safety checks and implementing the new regulations.

County lawmakers, some of whom have publicly supported Uber in the past, have said they want to review the regulations, written by the state Department of Motor Vehicles before choosing to stick with the state's rules or opt-out and write their own.

Uber already operates in Westchester illegally, and legalization could mean a loss of $800,000 in revenue from fines.

Plunkett said Westchester is aiming that whether it opts out or not, it would be consistent with Yonkers.

If the county does opt-out before June 29, they would have to call a special meeting to do so. The next full board meeting is July 19.

Meanwhile, Uber wrote to the legislature and Astorino Tuesday morning.

"We understand the incumbent taxi industry is putting immense pressure on you so we'd like to take a moment to assuage any concerns that have been raised," wrote Uber NY's Senior Policy Manager Josh Gold.

Gold cites a poll that says Uber has the support of nearly 80 percent of suburban voters, an American Public Transportation Association study that found ride-hailing services bolster public transit use and a study from Temple University that found Uber decreases drunk driving deaths.

"We are eager to work with stakeholders in your community to ensure that ride sharing is serving the people of Westchester County," the letter reads. "We are hopeful you will listen to your constituents who are demanding this service and allow ride sharing to operate."
I like when they talk about the taxi driver's in Westchester taking drug test. I can tell you, i know a lot of Westchester taxi drivers and i mean a lot. Almost all of them have substance abuse problems half drive high or drunk. This is a joke. Not to mention the quality of the taxis. Old crown vics that nothing works and shouldn't be on the road and thats most of Westchester. You can forget AC unless rolling the 2 out 4 windows that work down equals Ac. The only one at a lost is the people of Westchester and its time they vote astorino out!
 

Big man xl

Well-Known Member
Told you this would never pass in Westchester, tlc is too strong
Don't be fooled! Westchester tlc is just a face and a voice. They have no say. They are told what to say. If you really know Westchester county then you would know that the mafia has always and will always run the county. They say what happens and what don't. They shake down all taxi companies in Westchester. Some pay as much as 25% profits. I have an ex friend who has a taxi company and he pays a low rate only because he moved narcotics for the mob back in the day. They cant afford for uber to come in and stop their racketeering. Even westchester county executive astorino is an alleged third generation mobster himself. His dad used to be a local police officer in Westchester and allegedly shook down gambling spots and drug den. I use the word alleged but to be honest I've literally seen him come to my uncle's gambling spot and collect protection money back in the 80$. So i honestly wouldn't be surprised if astorino opts out, he himself is just a puppet. But we will see by Wednesday. Even if they opt out they can opt in at anytime. If they do opt out and uber pulls the plug on all of Westchester than we will see just how strong the mob is because alot of people who work in the city take ubers back home at night and with no service to Westchester from the city a lot of people will make noise and i think it will force Westchesters hand into opting in aka the mafia's hand!
 

Maven

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
How is New York State allowing drivers to drive in New York without rideshare insurance?
You do have state-mandated insurance provided by Uber/Lyft when online, which is understandable since their lobbyists wrote that part of the state law.
The same way every single other place on this planet is allowing it outside of nyc.
It is only a matter of time until private insurers provide the same options to NYS drivers already offered in adjacent states.
 

Ja632

Member
EDIT: County came to decision hours after this post to opt in and make the meeting an information session where concerns can be voiced.

Tomorrow 8am is the meeting in White Plains to vote yes or no to opting out. Uber is paying $25 an hour to attend. Its anticipated to last several hours. Many should have already received the email and text by now. If you rsvp, they'll ask for your shirt size and send a confirmation. Regardless of the $25 per hour, anyone interested in driving in Westchester without the burden of TLC (Uber will shut off app if they opt out) should attend.


Wednesday, June 28
8am
Westchester County Government Building 148 Martine Ave, 8th Fl.
White Plains, NY
 
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Big man xl

Well-Known Member
Told you this would never pass in Westchester, tlc is too strong
Guess you was wrong. Westchester is a go!

Tomorrow 8am is the meeting in White Plains to vote yes or no to opting out. Uber is paying $25 an hour to attend. Its anticipated to last several hours. Many should have already received the email and text by now. If you rsvp, they'll ask for your shirt size and send a confirmation. Regardless of the $25 per hour, anyone interested in driving in Westchester without the burden of TLC (Uber will shut off app if they opt out) should attend.


Wednesday, June 28
8am
Westchester County Government Building 148 Martine Ave, 8th Fl.
White Plains, NY
Westchester has opt in!
 

Maven

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
...Tomorrow 8am is the meeting in White Plains to vote yes or no to opting out. Uber is paying $25 an hour to attend. Its anticipated to last several hours. Many should have already received the email and text by now. If you rsvp, they'll ask for your shirt size and send a confirmation. Regardless of the $25 per hour, anyone interested in driving in Westchester without the burden of TLC (Uber will shut off app if they opt out) should attend.
Wednesday, June 28 8am, Westchester County Government Building 148 Martine Ave, 8th Fl., White Plains, NY​
I hav not got the email :frown: Can you please post the email and the link?
I want to rsvp!
I want my $25 per hour!
I want my T-shirt!
 
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Maven

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
No need! Westchester already opted in last night!
Aw shucks :frown: Missed the surge again! Any-who, here's some related articles
____________

Compromise triumphs as Westchester OKs Uber
NY Post Editorial Board June 27, 2017

At least common sense and compromise can win in one corner of New York: On Tuesday, Westchester struck a deal to allow ride-sharing services like Uber to operate in the county, with optional fingerprinting for drivers.

The option will let drivers pay a $90 fee for a decal showing they’ve passed a county background check.

That’s reasonable. And it ends county officials’ threats to ban app-based car services unless they agreed to fingerprinting.

The services had been banned outside New York City, but a new state law lets counties allow them or ban them — but not add new regulations.

Westchester threatened to prohibit the services, claiming state regs don’t do enough to ensure drivers are safe. That would’ve pleased the taxi industry, which is trying to keep the competition out — but also left Westchester as the only county in New York to ban the services.

Happily, just as when Mayor de Blasio tried to impose a cap on Uber cars in the city, consumers revolted. Riders love the convenience and generally lower prices of the new services — and won’t accept a ban.

So now riders will be able to hail Uber and Lyft cars, and anyone concerned about extra safety can choose drivers with county-issued decals.

If only that spirit of compromise would spread to Albany . . .
__________________

Here’s what to tip your Uber driver — or suffer a bad rating
NY Post June 26, 2017 By Michael Kaplan

The Harvard Business Review has heralded Uber’s “frictionless experience (no need to carry cash or even a credit card),” which has long included not even needing to think about a tip. Now, though, with the currently embattled — but also paradigm-shifting — ride-sharing company rolling out gratuity options on the app, it becomes something to think about.

But how much do you need to tip your Uber hack without seeming cheap and, simultaneously, not breaking the bank?

If the drivers themselves are to be believed, it won’t take much. On the website UberPeople.net, where drivers dish on their experiences, one thread focused on gratuities. One member, who goes by the name UberPissed, writes, “I have done 500+ trips with [a] 4.86 rating and received tips about 5 times. Haven’t received a tip in over a year.”

Others have fared better, but usually sporadically and under weird circumstances. A driver known as UberQ5 reveals that his top monetary tip was $10; his best non-monetary tip was a 750ml bottle of Grey Goose from a patron going to a BYOB strip club.

Neubridge 1, a guy whose avatar is bottles of booze and handguns, recalls one passenger who handed him cash rather than tipping him via the app since Uber keeps around 25 percent. “5 stars all day,” Neubridge 1 says, referring to the rating he gave the customer. Juno, an app similar to Uber, keeps 10 percent.

While over-tipping and alcohol often go together — one poster mentions snagging $40 on St. Patrick’s day, while another says $20 from a drunk was by far his highest all-time gratuity — there’s at least one instance in which big money was rooted in something druggish.

A driver who goes by DatShoGuy had a passenger who put out his back and needed muscle relaxers stat. “I ran [a] red light and drove as fast as I comfortably could — all while doing my best to dodge pot holes for the poor guy,” writes DatShoGuy. The payoff? A $100 bill.

While a big fat Benjamin is clearly a huge tip and zero is a bit of a bummer, the average tip to New York cabbies, according to a study that tracked fares paid with credit cards, is a hair below 20 percent. This clearly has to do with the fact that tipping options are 20, 25 and 30 percent on taxicab computers.

According to a story in MarketWatch, what you tip your Uber driver should vary from “$1 to $2 per passenger for short rides” to the same fee that you ordinarily pay cab drivers. Interestingly, the seventh most popular tip to New York cabbies is zero.

That may represent a nice way to save money — and by tipping through the app, your Uber driver probably won’t know whether you stiffed him or not — but do you really want to fit into the seventh most popular category?
 

tommay911

Member
hey maven

Logged into my Uber today (I live in New York) maybe you can help explain what they mean? I know you mentioned tnc insurance, does this mean I will be covered now? Thank u!

IMG_4493.PNG
IMG_4494.PNG
IMG_4495.PNG
Saw this on my app this morning
 

Maven

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
hey maven. Logged into my Uber today (I live in New York) maybe you can help explain what they mean? I know you mentioned tnc insurance, does this mean I will be covered now? Thank u!
View attachment 133141 View attachment 133142 View attachment 133143
Saw this on my app this morning
Yes and no. It looks like Raiser (Uber's parent), which is incorporated in all 50 states, is requiring you to agree to terms for pickups in NYC-Suburbs, in addition to what you previously agreed to for your current region. This includes the standard insurance while online, which is probably similar, if not identical, to the insurance they previously provided, although I did not do a detailed comparison.

If you are currently a NYC-TLC driver then you should have commercial insurance, which is generally better than the insurance provided by Uber. However, I would verify with my insurance carrier that I am covered for pickups outside NYC.
 
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2savage

Well-Known Member
NJ uses a company called James River. Its basically the same thing. I had an accident and my car was totaled but James River Insurance got me a full payout.
 
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