Uber, Lyft Driver Protest Brings Manhattan Traffic to Nearly Total Stop at Rush Hour

The procession crawled over the Brooklyn Bridge and up the FDR Drive

What to Know

  • A protest by Uber and Lyft drivers brought Manhattan traffic to a nearly dead stop at rush hour Tuesday morning
  • The caravan of drivers was headed to Gracie Mansion to protest to the mayor about pay and working conditions
  • The Independent Drivers Guild claims recent app changes by Uber and Lyft will make it harder for drivers to earn a living

Uber and Lyft drivers, protesting over pay and working conditions, brought traffic on the FDR Drive to a nearly dead stop at rush hour Tuesday morning.

Video from Chopper 4 showed a caravan of black cars slowly rolling up the northbound FDR just after 8 a.m., with a massive line of stalled traffic behind them. By 8:45 a.m., traffic was still crawling. 

Some cars attempted -- at time unsuccessfully -- to squeeze past the caravan, which appeared to be dozens strong.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents drivers with the two rideshare companies, said it was protesting app changes that it claims will result in drivers being paid less. 

"The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has failed to take action, so the Drivers Guild is calling for the Mayor and City Council to stop the apps from violating the pay rules in an attempt to scam drivers out of fair pay," the guild said in a statement.

After the protest ended, the guild said more than 1,000 Lyft and Uber drivers had taken part. 

Last week, Uber said it would begin to restrict how many drivers can go online at any one time in areas of low demand. The company said it was a response to regulations implemented by the TLC in 2018.

"And as always, we encourage you to reach out to your local elected officials to let them know how you feel about these TLC regulations and explain how they’ve impacted you," Uber said in an online Q&A for drivers posted last Thursday.

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