Surge pricing could be capped twice the usual price for ride-sharing services including Uber and Lyft under a bill sponsored by City Councilmember David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn).
Greenfield introduced his bill at a City Council hearing on the rideshare services, after the Taxi & Limousine Commission temporarily shut all but one of Uber’s New York bases last week after the firm refused to submit data on trips and drivers.
“This $40 billion corporation is squashing the American dream here in New York,” Greenfield said.
Greenfield said surge pricing pushed the price of a two-mile, 11-minute ride in Brooklyn to $94, more than six times the price of a yellow cab ride. Greenfield said in a tweet during the hearing that surge pricing means Uber could charge as much as $780 for the 16.5-mile ride from Midwood, Queens to LaGuardia Airport when demand is high. The rate should cost about $43 dollars, according to Yellow Cab NYC Taxi.
Uber representatives told the hearing that just 10 percent of rides in New York use the dynamic pricing model.
“I don’t get paid twice as much just because I rolled out of bed in the morning,” Greenfield said. He called the sky-high rates “price gouging.”
TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi said she’s concerned ridesharing apps “perpetuate false scarcity” and put passengers “in a vulnerable position.” She said she opposed Greenfield’s bill because it would penalize the driver, not the base that sets the fare.