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NEW YORK CITY HALL — New York Burghal auto drivers on Wednesday alleged on burghal embly to appoint tougher restrictions on ride-hailing casework that they say are killing their colleagues.
Four drivers accept dead themselves in as abounding months afterwards disturbing to accomplish a active on streets that casework such as Uber and Lyft accept chock-full with cars, drivers said.
More than 100 drivers, including some who ignment for the all-over apps, rallied alfresco Burghal Hall Wednesday to ache the deaths of men they alleged their brothers. They apparent a moment of blackout and laid flowers on prop coffins in their account afore aspersing what they alleged an asperous arena acreage for acceptable cabs that some compared to slavery.
“We are ailing and annoyed of burying our brothers,” said Bhairavi Desai, the controlling administrator of the New York Auto Workers Alliance, a aculation that represents cab drivers. “These are blue-blooded men who serve the streets of New York City, some of them for over 30 years of their life. They deserve better.”
The drivers alleged for the burghal to cap the cardinal of cars run by Uber, Lyft and added services, which they accursed as able companies that run on an arrant business model. Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly abandoned an accomplishment to do so in 2015 afterwards advancing activity from Uber.
The emblage came about two weeks afterwards the March 16 afterlife of Nicanor Ochisor, a auto nd buyer and disciplinarian from Maspeth, Queens who hanged himself afterwards accusatory about his contempo attempt to accomplish a living.
His son, Gabriel Ochisor, said his ancestor had been “very depressed” arch up to his death, but showed no signs he was because .
“I’m aloof aggravating to abide what he was aggravating to activity for and acutely get some change afore added like him happen,” Gabriel Ochisor said.
Ochisor wasn’t alone. Black-car disciplinarian Douglas Schifter attempt himself alfresco the Burghal Hall gates on Feb. 5 afterwards authoritative a diffuse Facebook column about the pressures on his job, including antagonism from Uber.
Danilo Corporan Castillo and Alfredo Perez, both Bronx accouter drivers, additionally committed in contempo months, the Auto Workers Alliance said. Castillo wrote a agenda that mentioned the “disastrous” accompaniment of his industry afore jumping out the window of his Manhattan accommodation on Dec. 20, the New York Column reported.
New York Burghal is the alone burghal in the nation area app-based car casework are absolutely regulated, according to the city’s Auto and Limousine Commission. But that hasn’t chock-full them from exploding.
Last year there were added than 83,000 TLC-licensed “black cars” — a cl that includes app-based cars — added than bifold the almost 38,000 in 2015, according to agency reports. Uber says 30,000 New Yorkers urance up to ride with the aggregation anniversary week, with trips growing fastest in the alien boroughs.
That amplification has meant abrupt cuts to auto drivers’ balance alike as they ignment as abounding as 70 hours a week, Desai said. It’s additionally depressed the amount of auto medallions, which drivers accept taken out loans to buy that accept affected some into bankruptcy, drivers said.
“I apperceive cab drivers who are abandoned today. I apperceive cab drivers who accept gone dark from active at night,” said Beresford Simmons, a 71-year-old chicken cab disciplinarian from Jamaica, Queens who said he’s backward on the job admitting a affection anaplasty and dialysis treatments.
“It’s worse than aback I started in 1972,” Simmons added. “Instead of activity up, we’re activity down.”
The drivers alleged on de Blasio and the Burghal Council to absolute how abounding cars Uber, Lyft and added firms can run on burghal streets. They additionally ap added reforms that they say would accomplish antagonism fairer, such as an all-emcing metered book amount and caps on costs drivers accept to pay.
Several accurate abutment for a bill sponsored by Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) that they said would advice akin the arena field. The bill would actualize a abstracted TLC authorization for app-based cars and accountable the casework to ample fees and annealed regulations, according to a archetype appear by Crain’s New York Business.
Councilmen Stephen Levin told drivers he backs a cap on app-based cars. But they told him to put his money area his aperture is. “Show us, don’t acquaint us,” one being shouted.
“There’s no absolute solution, but aback bodies are demography their lives because they accept run out of hope, it is time for the burghal government to sit up and notice,” Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens) said at the rally.
The TLC has implemented several reforms in contempo years to alleviate regulations and lower some costs for acceptable taxis, backer Rebecca Harshbarger said in an email. But the agency says it can’t put on for-hire cartage after activity by burghal or accompaniment lawmakers.
Commissioners will accede a resolution Thursday that would let auto companies adduce fares up-front for rides ordered through accustomed apps, such as Curb or Arro, as Uber and Lyft already do.
“We are acutely afflicted at the TLC by the contempo s in the disciplinarian community,” Harshbarger said. “We ache with their families, friends, and their brothers and sisters in the industry during this time.”
An Uber agent said the aggregation is additionally “deeply saddened” by the contempo deaths of drivers. She did not animadversion anon on the added regulations the drivers proposed, but said Uber is alive to lift accomplishment for its own drivers.
“Drivers told us we bare
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