Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
New York City's ailing taxi industry is fighting what they call a "suicide surcharge," a new $2.50 fee they will be forced to charge riders below 95th Street in Manhattan. Eight drivers have already taken their lives as their business suffers.
To support the taxi industry and reduce congestion, the New York City Council could cap the number of ride-hailing vehicles operating in the city. The cap could be a first major step toward a new era of transportation regulation.
A new fee on trips made in ride-hailing and other for-hire vehicles and taxis in much of Manhattan was approved by the New York State legislature as part of the budget legislation. Plans for future tolls on cars and trucks weren't included.
Accessibility remains a hot-button issue for transportation network companies, and the city of New York is now moving forward with a proposal that would not intact the chosen policies if companies like Uber were deciding.
Researchers found a small uptick in Manhattan traffic during rush hour, as Uber gains more riders from 4 to 7 p.m. than taxis lose. Uber also holds general sway over the other boroughs when it comes to for-hire vehicles.
A June 16 vote by the San Francisco MTA to improve safety will allow taxis, along with bicycles and Muni buses, but not ride-hailing services to make turns onto the downtown's main thoroughfare, Market Street, has upset San Francisco-based Uber.
In the old days, every taxi driver in New York City was required to prove at least a basic working knowledge of the city's streets and landmarks. A new licensing exam does away with geography, assuming that taxis will rely on GPS.