Last updated: 03:11 PM ET, Mon June 22 2015

New York Impounded 496 Vehicles in Uber Crackdown

Car Rental & Rail | Donald Wood | June 22, 2015

New York Impounded 496 Vehicles in Uber Crackdown

One of the fastest growing ways of getting around is ride-sharing service Uber, but officials in New York City are cracking down on drivers who are picking up illegal street hails by seizing their cars when caught.

According to Rebecca Harshbarger of the New York Post, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) seized 496 vehicles associated with Uber drivers who were making illegal passenger pickups between April 29 and June 15.

Drivers using the Uber app are only allowed to pick up passengers who arraigned for the ride through the service or those who base dispatch approved for pick up. One of the places where officials found the most violators was at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The fear is that with an estimated 19,000 drivers affiliated with Uber and no cap on the number of drivers in New York City, the streets of the city will eventually become overwhelmed by the number of ride-sharing cars, including both Uber and standard taxis.

New York Taxiworkers Alliance representative Bhairavi Desai told the New York Post, “I think it’s honestly a reflection of the oversaturation of the vehicles, and the desperation everyone is feeling on the streets to earn a living. At least they’re beginning to take action.”

Before the recent decision to impound the cars of those drivers found to be operating illegally, offenders would have been given a summons, but the implementation of more severe punishments should help deter many current or potential future offenders.

New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers head, Fernando Mateo, told Harshbarger, “If you’re willing to risk breaking the law, you have to be willing to lose your car. I would recommend, go back to the basics. Everyone has an app. You can’t make a living with just the Uber application.”

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