NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four credit unions lending the buyers of yellow cab medallions are filing a lawsuit, as the Taxi and Limousine Commission considers new regulations on Uber and similar operations.

The TLC is holding a hearing about the plan that would require the car services to follow the same rules that govern yellow cabs. They concern fares, wheelchair-accessible cars and restrictions on picking up passengers at airports.

The City Council’s transportation chairman, Ydanis Rodriguez, testified in support of the rules saying they “bring our taxi and for-hire markets to equalize a previously off-balance industry by instilling new regulations to balance and even the playing field.”

Uber drivers protested the proposal, which they claim would give the TLC greater power over the company, outside TLC headquarters Thursday.

“The problem is the way the rules are written it gives far too broad authority,” Josh Mohrer, Uber New York general manager, said, adding that the proposals would put the TLC in a unique position. “It would make TLC the only transportation commission in the country that has to approve software updates.

“They feel they’re being targeted for no reason,” Mohrer said.

“They are the Taxi and Limousine Commission, not the Technology Limitation Commission,” Uber spokesman Matt Wing told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Protesters chanted, “Who do we love? Uber!” and, “TLC, stand with me.”

“They’re trying to make it difficult for us to drive, and I think it’s not fair either way you put it because we need the job, the company needs us, and the city needs us as well,” one driver told 1010 WINS. “Let us be. We’re drivers. That’s what we love to do, and that’s what we want to keep doing.”

A TLC official told Crain’s that using an app is the same as dialing a smartphone and calling for a car, but attorney Todd Higgins, who represents Melrose Credit Union, said the city is allowing illegal street hails, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

“This is not about innovation; this is about the rule of law,” Higgins said. “There’s a crisis at hand, and if the city does not act, this industry is going to collapse.”

One of the rules would address surge pricing, requiring passengers to accept the higher fare before the vehicle is dispatched.

The TLC commissioner has played down the changes, saying they’re just updating the rules to reflect basic consumer protections for the new technology, but Uber sees it as a frontal assault on its status as a taxi industry disruptor, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“It’s basically giving the TLC a fast way to shut Uber down that could be triggered from the actions of just one driver,” Mohrer said, admitting that’s a technicality that’s not likely to happen.

The yellow cab industry, which is facing serious competition and a sharp drop in medallion values, has been pushing the city to regulate Uber more tightly.

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