Uber got Curbed


why not let capitalism do its thing?

Because it’s subsidized by public infrastructure.


Does this mean the subway will get even more crowded?

Then assign a cost and apply it to the rates

Black car or hacksaw

The claim of net economic loss from congestion is false. Even with higher congestion, ride share services like Uber or Lyft increase mobility overall. Even if each trip becomes less efficient, the number of trips has increased. Furthermore, passengers drawn away from public transportation clearly experience an increase in utility; they would not have taken car services otherwise.

The argument that we should cap Uber or Lyft to boost MTA ridership does not make sense. We should not cut better, more innovative services to match declining service in public transportation. Cuomo and De Blasio should be held accountable for deteriorating public infrastructure that turns passengers away in the first place. Maybe forced accountability will motivate them to spend time fixing local issues, rather than campaigning for spots in national politics.

The same can be said for yellow taxi services. Compared to Uber drivers, who value customer ratings and therefore provide the best possible customer experience, taxi drivers and companies provide inferior service. Taxi drivers are not polite. Their cars are dirty. Many drive recklessly and cut costs, for instance, by not turning on air conditioning at the expense of customer comfort. Customers increasingly prefer ride share services because drivers in those services are motivated to serve the customer experience. It is not because the market provides ride share services with an unfair advantage.

Instead of punishing innovation in transportation, NYC should recognize what makes customers prefer ride share services - better customer service, reliability, comfort, and better overall convenience. The government should introduce regulations that force older services, like taxis or public transportation, to address their weaknesses and evolve to fit customer needs.

Well that’s what they’re looking into, the law that was passed is a temporary stop gap that limits new permits.

So there was another article, that weekend subway traffic is down 15% because of ride hailing. The argument is that is made repeatedly is that ride hailing only accomplishes this by sidestepping employment regulations and paying substandard wages. You could even argue an anti-dumping case because they’re burning cash at Uber. Again, it may be marginal benefit to the consumer but at the cost of wear on highway infrastructure and congestion that are publicly funded, plus much higher pollution rates.

I do agree with you that the government in NYC carries the majority of the blame for this and should be held accountable. But I also think that the arguments put forward by major infrastructure consulting firms are also valid.

is deblasio the worst mayor ever?

When was the last time you took the NY subway system? There is no customer shortage. In fact, so many people want to take the train that sometimes there is physically no space in each car. Service is frequently delayed due to technical malfunctions. Stations are uncomfortable (88 degrees in my stop today), and escalators are frequently broken. The stations are not cleaned, ever. There are rats and garbage everywhere, and all the pillars smell like someone peed on them (someone did). Sometimes, homeless people sleep in the train and make the whole car smell like piss and sh*t, causing all nauseated customers to flee to adjacent cars (no effort is made my MTA employees to chase away these homeless people). All these issues existed before Uber.

Anyone who lives in NY would recognize how farcical the argument is - that people don’t take the subway because Uber has an unfair advantage. This is just an excuse for MTA’s ineptitude and mismanagement. If the subway was run in a more competent manner, competition from Uber would not be a major issue. Anyone who relies on public transportation for daily commute in NYC would agree with me.

Supplement: Issues with NY MTA.

  1. No one wants to take responsibility for the problem. De Blasio says it is NY State’s problem. Cuomo says De Blasio should shoulder the burden of cost improvements. No one does anything.

  2. Technology policy is ludicrous. The MTA union has to approve any system upgrade, which they use as an opportunity to demand more benefits (@FailingNYTimes has an article about this). This is a major reason why electronic switches, for instance, have not been installed, making trains slower.

  3. There is no charge by distance. All fares are $2.75. So, long distance riders are heavily subsidized by short distance riders, preventing a more efficient system for revenue capture.

  4. Train tracks are so old that MTA runs its own forge for parts. There is literally a blacksmith shop that makes bearings and sh*t for the trains. Dysfunctional policy prevents MTA from just changing to standard parts from Korea, or wherever most cities get subway components.

  5. There is no effort to make the stations or trains clean, pleasant, or hygienic. I’m not even asking for air conditioning, like subways in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Netherlands… LA… No one has cleaned any of these stations, ever. Why was there a piss covered homeless guy passed out and spread eagle, blocking the entrance to Jamaica station?


Other stupid crap. I’ll just leave this here.

I have ridden the subway in NYC a couple times this year. Obviously I don’t live there, but it’s not completely foreign to me. I said I agree with the meat of your argument. But also that ride sharing is compounding the issue. Traffic is down, but I specified on weekends it’s down 15%. I am largely agreeing with you, but at the same time Uber and Lyft need reformed and not solely because of NYC’s issues. But just to be clear, I’m agreeing with you in the majority of what you’re saying and clearly stated that in my first response.

Edit: To be clear, I b*tch about NYC infrastructure, particularly the subway every time I come back from there. If I lived in NYC I would 100% be livid with the management.

At least the NYC Mayor always has spare time to comment on Trump’s presidency having solved all of NYC’s problems.

Well said. MTA and NYC public transit are an embarrassment compared to other global cities. De Blasio finally found a way to cater to one of his most vocal donor groups, the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Disgraceful.

another issue is its seemingly impossible to actually get work done. oh want to close down the L for a few months to do needed repairs & maintenance? watch the whole world explode. unfortunately we are decades behind on basic maintenance and everyone wants to have their cake & eat it too. they want a 24 hour subway that is never closed for repairs and that fares never increase and that you pay the same fare no matter where you go (have a less of a problem with the last one as i have no problem paying a bit more so we dont throw additional fees on people who already live far away because they cant afford to live closer - changing to a system like that is essentially a regressive tax on those who can afford it least)

Using your logic, a distance based ticket price would subsidize people who live closer, increasing affordability near work centers, such that people without high incomes won’t have to live as far.

i think that is a rather naive assessment of real estate rental values in & around urban centers. people want to live in manhattan/UWS/UES/LES/West village because its a shorter commute, there is more to do etc etc. The service workers who make very little cant afford these prices are pushed further out into queens, bx, bk. i think adjusting pricing to punish those people to the benefit of the wealthier individuals living in the core of the city is extremely punitive to the poor & giving a handout to people that frankly dont really need it

^while I don’t disagree that the tax would be regressive and that it would hurt poorer communities more, I wonder then why most other metro systems in the world charge ticket prices based on distance.

totally valid point - not sure. i just think a switch at this point in the ball game would be an unfair kick in the nads to the working poor, many of whom have to take a bus to the subway line for a commute of like 90-120 minutes each way to have some dbag lawyer yell that he is going to call ICE on them for speaking spanish.

dont think any US city has a comparable system, likely only mega cities like London or tokyo and i dont know enough about their systems to opine.

Tokyo subway makes NYC seem like a third world country experiencing a post war period