Getting around New York City is a hassle. Which begs the obvious question: how does the most regulated and overtaxed city in the country have the worst infrastructure? When Uber entered the market, it was a godsend for tourists and New Yorkers alike. But now, the ride-hailing app is being blamed for generations of malfeasance. Uber is the adversary city’s leaders have always needed.
A recent New York Times article suggests taxing Uber users because the ride-hailing app has created too much congestion in NYC. It’s a laughable idea – like blaming a single cupcake for diabetes. Uber is a cheap and reliable way to get around. And it has succeeded in NYC for 3 simple reasons: utter convenience, the hubris of the taxi industry, and the failing subway system.
One overlooked cause of congestion: 1200 miles of little-used bike lanes in New York City. Bike lanes on east-to-west streets have made the city impossible to cross. Does every street really need a bike lane?
The city sanctioned and continues to promote the yellow taxi monopoly. Riders who had few direct transit options became accustomed to rudeness and dangerous driving. The industry responded to customer complaints only after Uber became the de facto choice for most New Yorkers. Uber forced the taxi industry to focus on customer service and providing better rides. Uber eliminated the monopoly which has better served the customer.
For 50 years, city leaders (democrats) and state leaders (other democrats) have fought over the management of NYC subways. Both sides want power over the system but neither wants to own maintenance, cost overruns, or the fact that the subways never seem to work. The subways needs $30 billion in capital improvements for, among other things, to limit the number of derailments each year. With the 2 sides bickering, everyone loses except labor. The average subway worker banks $155,000 a year while their 2,500 managers pull-in $240,000. The average NYC subway worker makes $16,000 more than the average American lawyer.
Is it any wonder that the system is broken?
A subway system in disarray, unnecessary bike paths, and the taxi monopoly combined to destroy NYC transit. But to the New York Times, the obvious solution is taxing Uber users.