Antonio Cruz, a 50-year-old Brooklyn resident who drives for Uber two days a week, said he worries that the new partnership between taxis and Uber could mean more competition from yellow taxis, especially on the days he works in Manhattan. . “We could lose business,” he said.
The short-term benefit of the deal is to provide Uber with access to more drivers, said Bruce Schaller, a former city transportation official.
“If they’re saying they’re okay with the drivers now, that’s okay, I’m not buying them,” Mr Schaller added. “With the pandemic in addition to gas prices, more drivers are always good. Even if they have ‘enough,’ having a larger driver base there is good for Uber.”
At Uber Investors Day in February, Andrew MacDonald, Uber’s senior vice president of mobility and business operations, said the company wanted every taxi in the world on its platform by 2025 and that it had already added 122,000 taxis to the app last year.
Uber’s deal with New York taxi companies could also put pressure on its rival, Lyft, to respond.
“I would expect Lyft to do a similar deal — in fact I would expect them to do the exact same deal,” Mr. Schaller said. Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
City officials said the new Uber-Taxi partnership in New York does not require approval from the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which oversees the taxi industry, although the agency will still oversee rules covering all charter drivers.
“We have always been interested in innovative tools that can expand economic opportunities for taxi drivers,” said Acting Agency Commissioner Ryan Wantaga. “We are excited about any proposal to connect riders to taxis more easily and look forward to learning more about this agreement between Uber and taxi apps and ensuring they comply with TLC rules.”
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