NYC lets Uber drivers paint cars yellow
Ride-sharing company Uber has been taking the world by storm. The app-based system has become an increasingly popular method of arranging a lift, and has ruffled the feathers of more than a few traditional cabbies, who are under increasing competition for fares.
In New York City the problem has become so bad that city officials are now allowing Uber drivers who were formerly cabbies to paint their cars yellow and accept unbooked fares off the street, in a bid to keep the city's taxis running in the face of a mass exodus of drivers to the company.
New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has previously come under fire from drivers who claim the amount of red tape makes it too hard for them to switch their traditional yellow cabs into an Uber car.
TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told consumeraffairs.com: "We're hoping to make it easier for drivers to move between segments and maximize their economic opportunities."
To work as a yellow cab driver in New York requires a city-issued medallion. With only 13,000 in existence, values are rising, with many cabbies resorting to renting it from the holder for around $120 (£80) per day. This and other restrictions put on yellow cabs by city authorities mean many drivers are migrating to Uber because of the prospect of greater earnings.
However, many are becoming unhappy with their Uber arrangements, and it is these drivers that the new scheme hopes to attract back into yellow cabs.
"I've spoken to many cab drivers who have left who say they weren't happy with the money they were making, and the leasing arrangements with their cars," said Michael Woloz, spokesman for the Metropolitan Taxi Cab Board of Trade.
Uber issued a statement saying it welcomed any move that increased opportunities for drivers.
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