If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know that one of the biggest problems (aside from finding a bathroom) is finding transportation. There’s the subway, but visitors have a hard time figuring it out and many don’t want to go near it, for obvious reasons. And cabs are expensive and often hard to flag down. That’s why, for many New Yorkers and tourists, the creation of Uber and Lyft, the app-based ride-sharing services that come to you, was a godsend. They also gave enterprising individuals with cars a way to make extra money with the freedom to set their own schedules. But as we’ve all learned, nothing that combines that much individual freedom, convenience, customer satisfaction and lack of burdensome regulation can survive long once liberals take over government.
And so, on Wednesday, the New York City Council, as part of Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s ongoing campaign to ruin the revitalized city he inherited from Republicans Giuliani and Bloomberg, voted not to issue any more Uber or Lyft licenses for a year (most cities don’t even require licenses.) DeBlasio has been trying to crack down on ride-app services since 2015, claiming they cause traffic congestion and are “driving New Yorkers into poverty.”
Unless “Poverty” is one of the five boroughs, I guess he’s talking about Uber and Lyft drivers, since the legislation allows the city to regulate their pay. Or maybe he means cab drivers, since the entrenched taxi companies hate Uber and Lyft. They could change their business model to keep up with the times, or they could get the government to crack down on their competition. That’s capitalism of the crony variety.
It will be interesting to see if New York City traffic actually moves faster with fewer Uber and Lyft drivers on the streets. But I’d be willing to bet that people who need to get somewhere won’t care much that the driving time is ten minutes shorter if they can’t find anyone to drive them there.