Electric or wheelchair accessible: NYC drafts quotas for ride service providers

Image: Lyft

At the beginning of the year, New York City announced it would require ride service providers such as Uber and Lyft to completely electrify their fleets by 2030. The plan is now becoming concrete with the proposed ‘Green Rides’ programme.

New York Mayor Eric Adams presented the proposed rules alongside the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). It paves the way for all ridesharing vehicles to be either locally emission-free or wheelchair accessible from 2030. According to January’s data, the rules will affect more than 100,000 vehicles. At the time, Adams had first outlined the move.

According to the proposed “Green Rides” programme, the quota for zero-emission or wheelchair-accessible vehicles will gradually increase starting next year. Beginning in 2024, New York City wants to require that five per cent of all “high-volume for-hire trips,” including those from Uber and Lyft, be dispatched to zero-emission or wheelchair-accessible vehicles. In 2025 this rate will increase to 15 per cent, and in 2026 to 25 per cent. In the following years, the quota will increase by 20 per cent annually – up to 100 per cent in 2030. By comparison, the sale of zero-emission cars will be mandatory in New York from 2035.

However, ‘Green Rides’ has not yet passed. A public hearing on the proposed rules is scheduled for 20 September 2023. However, it is already clear that such a regulation would primarily affect smaller providers because the two industry giants Uber and Lyft already planned the conversion to pure electric fleets for 2030. Against this backdrop, their reactions are favourable: Representatives of both companies expressly welcome the initiative. Together, Uber and Lyft have around 78,000 vehicles in New York City.

If implemented, New York would not be alone with the abovementioned regulation. In California, such an obligation for ride service providers to electrify by 2030 was already passed in 2021.



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