Uber, Lyft Drivers Slow Down Manhattan Traffic To Protest App Changes

WCBS 880 Newsroom
September 17, 2019 - 1:40 pm
FDR Drive - Uber/Lyft Protest

Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Uber and Lyft drivers brought traffic on the FDR Drive to a standstill during the Tuesday morning rush in a protest over pay and working conditions.

As WCBS 880’s Tom Kaminski reported, there was a caravan of black cars slowly rolling up the northbound FDR just after 8 a.m., followed by a frustrated string of cars stuck behind them.

After the slow procession, the for-hire drivers created a cacophony on East End Avenue, in front of Gracie Mansion, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

The drivers gathered in front of the mayor’s home to protest the shutdown of Uber and Lyft apps at low-demand times, forcing them all to work against each other at high-demand times.

In cutting back the hours, Driver's Union Executive Director, Brendan Sexton, says the companies are “manipulating the minimum pay wage that they’re required to pay.

One driver notes that the app suddenly closes on drivers, leaving them in the middle of New York City without anyway to work.

“If I come to work in Manhattan and if they ban my app, if they log off my app, what I’m supposed to do? How I’m supposed to do my living or wages,” he asks.

The protesting drivers were with the Independent Drivers Guild and the event was organized after Uber announced it would begin to restrict how many drivers could go online at one time in areas of low demand.

The ride-sharing company says the new rule is a response to regulations put into effect by the Taxi & Limousine Commission in 2018.