A judge ruled California’s Proposition 22, which allowed transportation network companies (TNCs) and other companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, unconstitutional last week.
Proposition 22 was voted in last November and heavily supported by Uber, Lyft, and other companies that rely on gig workers, including Instacart and DoorDash. The law allowed such workers to be classified as contractors as long as some benefits were provided. It will likely remain in effect while appeals are filed and ruled on, saving those companies the expense of hiring their drivers as employees.
Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said in his ruling that Proposition 22 hinders the state’s ability to set workplace standards and has bearing on other rules, including workers’ compensation regulations.
Read the whole story here.
By Brandy Stanley, CAPP
TNCs are not a new phenomenon, but handling them effectively to reduce the congestion they cause and move people through the downtown core is quite a challenge.
The City of Las Vegas is taking a two-pronged approach to helping TNCs do business downtown:
- Using large kiosks with visual cues to help TNC drivers understand where to pick up and drop off passengers and how long they can stay there is proving to be a highly effective strategy for managing precious curb space in busy areas.
- To get TNCs out of traffic circulation while they wait for the next ride, the city has identified empty parking assets to offer to these drivers. Providing a place to use the restroom, access WiFi, and rest keeps the drivers happier as well as clearing up the streets.
These two programs have been evolving since prior to COVID and continue to evolve as the city emerges from the pandemic; they involve extensive technology, marketing, stakeholder involvement, and partnerships with the TNCs and local businesses. There are also plenty of lessons learned and “back to the drawing board” moments, as is often the case when blazing a trail.
Brandy Stanley, CAPP, is parking services manager for the City of Las Vegas. She will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, in Tampa, Fla. Click here for details and to register.
Transportation network company (TNC) drivers in Miami say they fear losing their income when 1,000 autonomous cars are launched as ride-hails later this year.
Argo AI, Ford, and Lyft announced they’d trial the self-driving cars in Miami and Austin this winter. Drivers for Lyft and Uber say they’re concerned the autonomous cars will cut their rides, hours, and paychecks.
Florida has one of the highest-used TNC networks in the country, and drivers there say the autonomous vehicles are hitting their routes many years ahead of when they anticipated. And because a driverless “robotaxi” cuts a driver out of the ride-hail equation, they say they fear perhaps losing those jobs completely as more self-driving cars hit the roads.
Read the whole story here.
By Jim Anderson
Autonomous vehicles (AVs): What are the effects on today’s transportation network and future smart-city design? There is much speculation and opinion as to the evolution of AVs and the continued emergence of transportation network company (TNC) use in the fabric of the urban transportation environment.
Notable architect and planner with architectural firm HOK, Brian Jencek was recently interviewed by Automotive World, and stated, “The hope is that public and private partnerships will flourish to support municipal transport systems. If managed properly, AVs could improve social equity and lead us into a more just future.”
What we know today is that AVs will be driven by artificial intelligence (AI). supported exclusively by advanced connectivity and data-driven cloud infrastructure. The automotive industry is investing heavily in alternative energy and technology for the future of mobilization. The consumer adoption and acceptance will be predicated upon a safe, predictable, secure, and efficient experience.
Jencek observes, “In the future, these (AV) fleets will need somewhere to go” as they complete their delivery service. This is a topic for today’s city planners to consider–places for AV’s to re-charge and await the next transportation opportunity. The TNCs are currently a factor in emerging urban congestion as they drive about awaiting their next fare.
As we are at the cusp of this technological revolution, stay tuned for continued awareness of AI advancements in data-center infrastructure to support the necessary computer power for AV success. See excerpts from the Automotive World article here.
Jim Anderson is market development manager, building solutions team, with MasterBuilder Solutions and co-chair of IPMI’s Planning, Design, & Construction Committee.
Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft will need to transition to electric vehicles in California by 2030, the state legislature mandated last week.
The new rules, which say 90 percent of ride-share miles traveled must be in electric vehicles by the start of the new decade, also include provisions to make charging access easy and help ensure the cost of both charging and the vehicles themselves is accessible to drivers.
California recently passed a ban on sales of new gasoline-powered cars in the state that will start in 2035. Uber has committed to going all-electric by 2040 and recently earmarked $800 million to help drivers make the shift.
Read the whole story here.
Saying their already-struggling businesses could be decimated if Uber and Lyft leave California, restaurant owners in San Diego have jumped into the legal battle around TNCs’ driver status. Even though ride-share demand is low now, they say, many eateries depend on the services bringing customers to them.
Restaurant owners also worry that the end of Uber and Lyft in the state could spell disaster for services such as Uber Eats, which deliver takeout food on-demand. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Uber Eats has become more profitable than Uber’s ride-share arm, and does record amounts of business.
San Diego restaurant owners and employees recently rallied in support of drivers who want to continue working as contractors; at stake is a court case that might force TNCs to make drivers employees, which the companies say would be too expensive and restrictive.
Read the story here.
The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a $4 pick-up and drop-off fee for transportation network companies (TNCs) at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport late last week. TNCs had argued the fees were unconstitutional, while the airport said they would help distribute COVID-19 recovery costs between all businesses at the airport.
The airport had charged a $2.66 fee for pickups but no fee for dropoffs. Arizona’s attorney general argued the fee violated a 2018 constitutional amendment by placing a new fee on an existing service. The court did not issue an explanation with its ruling but the fight isn’t over: Legislation has been introduced that would block the fee increases. The legislative session is paused during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the topic is likely to see more attention when lawmakers reconvene. Read the whole story here.
One argument in favor of TNCs such as Uber and Lyft is that they can take privately-owned cars off the road. But a new study says the vehicles actually generate more pollution than they replace.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization focusing on environmental and social challenges, says they found TNC trips generated 69 percent more pollution than the trips they displace; those trips, the group says, are frequently transit, walking, or micro-mobility.
“For ride-hailing to contribute to better climate and congestion outcomes, trips must be pooled and electric, displace single-occupancy car trips more often, and encourage low-emissions modes such as mass transit, biking, and walking,” the group says.
Lyft called the report “misleading” and said they encourage shared rides and deploying electric vehicles. Read the whole story here.
By Casey Jones, CAPP
With the daily grind of attending to schedules, HR issues, and constant emails, it’s difficult sometimes to do more than keep your nose to the grinding stone. But missing out on the big picture may keep an organization from adapting to our changing world and staying relevant to its customers. Here are four major macro-level factors parking and mobility leaders must track to adapt and grow their organizations:
- Cars Trends. The number of cars in the U.S. has risen steadily since a five-year period of the Great Recession. More people and driving more miles and the millennial generation has as big of an appetite for car ownership as previous generations.
- Population Growth and Net Migration. The U.S. population continues to grow and a handful of western states top the list of places where Americans are moving. These states also have less developed public transportation systems and roadway infrastructure to accommodate new users.
- The Effects of TNCs. Recent research reveals that transportation network companies (TNCs) are putting up considerable vehicle miles traveled and adding to the congestion of many places they serve. Curb management has emerged as a critical new area of focus in large part because of the effects of TNCs.
- Ecommerce and Delivery. Traditional brick-and-mortar retail business continue to struggle against their ecommerce competitors, and the growth of just-in-time delivery is affecting urban transportation systems.
Focusing on the right trends and not becoming unnecessarily bogged down by the minutiae will help an organization innovate and prepare for the future.
Casey Jones, CAPP, is senior parking & mobility planner with DESMAN. He will be presenting on this topic at the 2020 IPMI Conference & Expo, May 31 – June 3, in San Antonio, Texas. For information and to register, click here.
Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) may find themselves having to rethink their models if states and the federal government pass legislation limiting the so-called gig economy, where workers essentially freelance rather than being hired as full- or part-time workers.
Legislators in California and other states have begun working on laws that would greatly restrict the ability of companies–including TNCs–to hire gig workers. Some federal legislators are now saying they like the model those states have developed and wonder if national laws should follow suit. Lawmakers say limiting gig employment protects workers; TNCs and some drivers say it would devastate their ability to both hire and work as they wish.
Read the whole story here.