A group representing taxi drivers in New York City put Gov. Andrew Cuomo on blast for his administration’s support of a bill allowing the likes of Uber to operate outside the city.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director at the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the bill would destroy jobs, clog streets and leave labor laws “upended.”
“This bill is bad for workers, and it’s bad for democracy,” Desai said. “Our governor took a move straight from the Trump playbook — he turned a blind eye to labor violations and worker exploitation but focused razor sharp on rewarding these reprehensible practices.”
After a battle with aggressive lobbying on both sides spanning years, a decision on the bill came packaged in Cuomo’s state budget agreement. The legislation will allow for ride-hail expansion upstate and on Long Island, the last areas of the continental United States to get access to the services.
“Delivering ride-sharing will create jobs and promote safety and is clear a win for upstate economies and communities across the state,” said Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for the governor.
Uber plans on expanding upstate in cities like Rochester and Buffalo this summer. A spokeswoman for Uber noted that, under the bill, New York would be the first state to guarantee workers’ compensation for all drivers administered by the Black Car Fund.
“After more than two years of multiple bills, town halls and roundtables, we are grateful to the governor and legislature for working out a compromise that allows ride-sharing in New York,” the spokeswoman said.