NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City already has a congestion problem, and now a new report shows that ride-sharing apps such as Uber, Lyft and Via are adding to it.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, traffic congestion in Manhattan is part of the fabric of New York City. Weaving through isn’t easy, and some drivers agree with the report by former Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner for Traffic and Planning Bruce Schaller – saying the boom of ride-sharing services are partially to blame.

Truck driver Juan Carlos said the ride-sharing cars are clogging the streets.

“Uber and Lyft all those companies are making the city, like, crazy!” Carlos said.

Yeldy Echavarria has been an Uber and Lyft driver for three years.

“We have more drivers now,” Echavarria said. “That is making the roads more congested.”

Right now, there are more than 103,000 active for-hire vehicles, including traditional car service and ride hailing app-based cars. That is more than double the amount in 2013, when there were just more than 47.

That same year, there were less than 3,000 app company-based cars. Now there are more than 68,000.

“There’s a lot of competition,” Carlos said.

CBS2 reached out to Mayor Bill de Blasio to see how the city plans to curb the congestion, but his office did not respond.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said Wednesday, “The governor has been clear – we need to reduce gridlock and identify a dedicated funding stream to the MTA.”

Cuomo has been criticized for his support of congestion pricing, so in October, he organized a panel called Fix NYC to come up with other solutions. One possibility is a new ride fee on for-hire vehicles in Manhattan, which could encourage riders to opt for more affordable mass transit.

“By my calculations, you can raise $475 million a year with a surcharge like that, with a $3 surcharge,” Schaller said.

Schaller conducted a study that found app-based cars are increasingly unoccupied, causing unnecessary congestion.

“There are thousands of vehicles in Manhattan, and that’s where those vehicles need to be used in an efficient way and not running around empty,” Schaller said.

Cuomo is still waiting to hear suggestions from Fix NYC. The panel is expected to release its recommendations by the end of the year.

Some transportation experts suggest a cap on the number of app-based cars serving the city. The de Blasio administration proposed a cap in 2015, but quickly dropped the plan.

Comments (11)
  1. Bevin Chu says:

    Government is responsible for the mismatch in road capacity and traffic volume, NOT the free market.
    If market mechanisms were free to work the way they are supposed to in a free country, market pricing for the use of toll roads would match road capacity to traffic volume.

  2. All this time I was blaming global warming.

  3. So you would rather have the streets clogged with taxis or just not have enough taxis? One way or another you have people hiring a taxi or ride share to clog the street. Obviously you did not have enough taxis because the taxi companies don’t want competition and they can buy the politicians in charge of the government monopoly. Along comes capitalism and the socialist in NY have a fit.

  4. James Gange says:

    It’s the bike lanes too. But we’re not allowed to say it in the media

  5. Traffic congestion in NYC, who would have thunk.

  6. More taxes and fees paid to the government are always the cure.

  7. Sam Dennis says:

    Ride Sharing = euphemism for unlicensed Taxicabs. Why are these services allowed to provide taxi services without paying and qualifying as Taxis? There’s no Constitutional right to compete without being licensed.

    1. Ern Bartsch says:

      Simple Solution:
      Reduce the Requirements and Fees on Taxicabs, and then they will be on a level Playing Field with the Ride Share Outfits..

  8. Jack Tripper says:

    The myth about the “ride sharing” economy is just that a myth….. There is more congestion and surprise!…. more cars will be sold NOT LESS due to the Uber/Lyft economy. If you are a Uber driver your car will wear out faster….Reason why car companies like GM are investing in Lyft is because they are their “new OEM” customer – much like the old days when Ford owned quite a bit of Hertz and GM was an investor/partner in Avis….. Only thing that will fix congestion is flying cars on demand!.

  9. Andy Howe says:

    Uber causes so many problems, but it gets away with it because of its bribes (I mean contributions) to government officials.

  10. I’m favor of having enough vehicles on Manhattan to bring about complete grid lock. Every street from end to end full of cars and trucks to the point where nothing moves ever again.

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