In recent articles, I have mentioned the inclusion of taxes and cruising limits by major metropolitan areas. These new pilot programs look to address the issue of traffic congestion caused by TNCs.
Uber and Lyft drivers should be aware of these ideas as they become mainstream. However, I do not think that many drivers will see these changes for some time. TNCs themselves have recently exposed their impact on traffic congestion. On the heels of this admission, many metropolitical municipalities are looking to curb that impact.
What are cruising limits for TNCs?
In short, cruising limits refer to any amount of time a rideshare driver spends driving without a passenger. Also, cruising limits are typically enforced in certain zones. Major metropolitan cities like New York City, Washington D.C., San Fransico, Chicago, and Los Angeles are looking into this. The first to adopt cruising limits is, of course, New York City. New York City has suffered the most from recent traffic congestion caused by TNC drivers.
More cruising limits are set to hit additional cities, soon.
”[Cruising limits] make a lot of sense. … They focus on the genuine problem, which is empty cars. I think a lot of cities are going to really look to New York to see if they can adopt similar approaches,”
Uber, of course, has criticized the new limits imposed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, stated that the new rules are crippling its business in New York City. The rule caps new drivers at the same time as raising its prices to compensate.
What is a driver cap?
Essentially, this means that anyone looking to join TNCs and become an Uber or Lyft driver in major metropolitan issues will not be able to. This cap has been in place in New York City has been on for awhile, and as of last Wednesday, it was extended for another 12 months.
Starting February 1, 2020, working drivers will not be able to stay online if they exceed time limits without a passenger. It means that when drivers are seeking a passenger, they have a time limit, when in certain zones.
How will this affect the average Uber or Lyft driver?
You may need to accept some rides that many drivers might not usually take. If you drive in a major metropolitan area and are cruising without a passenger, your freedom just left the building. Cancels and cherry-picking rides look to be less common.
The claim by the TLC of New York City is that it will help drivers to be more profitable, by limiting drivers on the road.
How much time are you driving without a passenger?
According to the recent traffic congestion studies, drivers in San Fransico are above 40% without a passenger. When I drive, I almost always have a passenger, but I am an outlier. When you drive, how often are you without a passenger? To prepare yourself for the eventual cruising limits and taxes, it is a good idea to start tracking this. It might even be the reason why Uber has installed the auto-accept feature. Drivers who decline rides hurt Uber’s bottom line and can cause traffic congestion, which Uber then has to pay for. I want to hear from you. What percentage are you driving without a PAX?
In the end, cruising limits on TNCs could be coming to a city near you, and soon. It would be best to stay ahead of the curve and adopt a new strategy when picking up a PAX.