De Blasio’s Uber cap will create new medallion system—and drivers will suffer

DR. JOHNNIE GREEN | 7/11/2019, 6:46 p.m.
There’s an expression that bad ideas never die. For a while it looked like the medallion system that governed taxicabs ...
Customer riding Uber YouTube

This made reliable transportation not a right, but a privilege out of reach for most New Yorkers.

The arrival of app companies finally broke up the monopoly that enriched bankers and taxi kingpins at the expense of riders and drivers. For once working class people didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars a week for the chance to earn a living. New Yorkers in the outer-boroughs, and especially New Yorkers of color, finally had access to affordable and reliable on demand transportation. The companies flourished in places forgotten about by taxis—more than half of all Uber trips happen outside of Manhattan.

This feat was no small detail, and for once the system worked.

While it might not happen right away, the mayor’s proposal will slowly move us back to the bad old days. Over time service will decrease along with earning opportunities for drivers. New Yorkers of color and first generation immigrants shouldn’t have to suffer at the expense of a handful of special interests. Every community deserves access to safe reliable transportation options, but a modern medallion system makes that impossible.

It’s time for the mayor to bury this bad idea.

Dr. Johnnie Green is president and CEO of MPAC.