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What protections are needed for drivers in the era of Uber and Lyft?

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Photo by Joe Le Merou used under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr
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On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about the desperation felt by drivers for taxis and companies like Uber and Lyft. The median income for these drivers is $24,000 a year. How has the explosion of these services impacted drivers?

 

 

On February 5, Doug Schifter, a 61-year-old New York City driver for hire, shot and killed himself in front of New York City Hall. He left a note saying he’d rather be dead than be “a slave working for chump change” and called Uber a "liar, cheat, and thief." How should regulators and companies protect drivers who are struggling to make ends meet?

Guests:

Bhairavi Desai, founding member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and a longtime labor organizer

Syed Mohsin, a San Francisco taxicab driver for more than 20 years

Edward Escobar, a San Francisco Uber and Lyft driver, advocate and organizer for drivers, and founder of The Alliance for Independent Workers

 

Adriano Espaillat, Congressmember representing New York’s 13th district

Web Resources:

NY Daily News: It’s an emergency for the city’s drivers: Start acting like it, Mr. Mayor

KQED: The Human Cost of Uber and Lyft: Life in the Dying Taxi Industry

Associated Press: Studies are increasingly clear: Uber and Lyft congest cities

MIT: The Economics of Ride-Hailing: Driver Revenue, Expenses and Taxes

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.