This post was published on October 22, 2014. Since then TLC chairman David Yassky has been hired by Lyft. His deputy Ashwini Chhabra is working for Uber. Matthew Wing, Governor Cuomo's Press Secretary now is on the Uber payroll, as is President Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe. Quite a steamroller these app assassins have put together. A mere pedestrian has no right that can be defended to be safe from app distracted drivers in the face of high power amoral campaigners like these.
Let me start here with a story about a fare I had last Friday night. I was taking this lady cross town on 45th Street between Lexington and Madison underneath the Park Avenue overpass. It was dark. Suddenly as if out of nowhere a woman who was dressed in black with an iphone in her ear stepped in front of me, having come from behind a parked Post Office truck. I hit the breaks hard and just missed knocking her down by less than a foot. She stopped, looked straight at me and flipped me the bird.
My passenger was so outraged she lowered her window and shouted "why don't you get off your phone?! To which, in reply, the pedestrian flipped a second bird.
I remarked to my passenger "she's lucky I was not taking a call on a Uber app.'
She would have been hurt or dead - and if a famous person was on the scene I would have become a television personality. Lucky then I've been campaigning against these e hail apps for being the public safety hazards that they are for over a year now.
Ehail apps have been legal provisionally under a pilot program for over a year now. Last December the pilot program was supposed to expire and then Commission Chairman David Yassky was set to end the pilot program but he suddenly, surprisingly and unexplainedly backed off. I believe that my written testimony against the approval- testimony that ought to remain on the record - caused Yassky's sudden jamming of the breaks.
The Guardian Online, a world class newspaper, had published a piece that I wrote that exposed these apps for the public safety threat they are.
This article gave the problem enough credibility to back the TLC off their plan to end the pilot program and name the ehail apps a success.
On Thursday the New York Times reported that the TLC was passing a rule change that would effectively ban drivers from using two or more of the apps at the same time. This constitutes a second confession that that the TLC is awsre of a safety issue with the driver apps. The fact is though you would discover deep into the article that there is no ban. Uber has been urging livery and black car drivers to sign with them while not dropping their current base. The new rule would permit bases to prohibit this practice. It also would require the ehail companies like Uber to file records of all their drivers' trips. Now, if collated with reported accidents these records might harm the ehail app entrepeneurs world wide. No wonder they vehemently oppose the new rule!
The new rule does not apply at all to yellow street hail taxi drivers, some of whom use two and even three of these apps. Would the TLC or any taxi regulator anywhere on earth claim that this situation is alright? What do you say, Stu Loeser, David Yassky, Ydanis Rodriguez, Ashwini Chhabra, Bill deBlasio,
is it a good idea to allow taxis onto the streets with three different screens mounted on the dashboard?
Three ranking recent TLC executives Ashwini Chhabra, Stu Loeser and former Chairman David Yassky now are employed by Uber and Lyft.
The Department of Investigation is known to be on the Chhabra case. Hopefully they'll all go down with their new employers.
Updated 5/17/15 - It's time for me to file a freedom of information request about Chhabra.
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