Sept. 30, 2019 By Christian Murray
Council Member Francisco Moya introduced a bill last week that aims to protect for-hire drivers from unaffordable and predatory lease agreements.
If passed, the legislation would place a ceiling on the amount drivers working for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft would have to pay to lease a vehicle. The bill also covers drivers working for livery and green cab companies
Similar legislation was passed in 2012 protecting yellow cab drivers from predatory lease agreements.
Moya is calling for protection for for-hire drivers who often have to pay far more than the value of the vehicle in lease agreements.
“People who have bad credit or no credit are being trapped into predatory leases,” Moya said. “Many are referred to leasing companies and are being taken advantage of.”
The legislation would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to regulate leases, rentals, lease-to-own and conditional purchases in the for-hire vehicle sector.
Yellow cab leases are currently capped at $42,900 over three years, which amounts to $275 a week.
However, for-hire drivers don’t have that protection and often end up paying more than double that, according to Moya. The drivers initially think they can pay it since the are often lured by the app companies that promise high earnings.
“Right now we have a system that fails to protect drivers in the For-Hire sector from predatory financing,” said Moya.
“That’s left too many professional drivers feeling hopeless, trapped inside a sinking car that’s drowning them in debt. For-Hire drivers are working-class men and women just like yellow cab drivers and they deserve the same basic protections that yellow cab drivers won in 2012.”