See press release below:
BOSTON – Boston City Councilors Ed Flynn and Matt O’Malley will hold a hearing on issues related to transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, operating in the City of Boston. The hearing will be held Tuesday, November 19th, 1pm at the Iannella Chamber in Boston City Hall by the Committee on Planning, Transportation and Development.
Recognizing the integral role that TNCs now play in our overall transportation system, as well as the convenience they provide, the hearing will focus on concerns from residents regarding this evolving industry and measures to address traffic and congestion, public safety due to the lack of designated pick up & drop off areas, the environment, and consumer protection.
Residents have highlighted concerns regarding public safety and Vision Zero due to reports of speeding vehicles, as well as the lack of designated pick up & drop off areas in the city, which has resulted in double parking or vehicles pulling over in the middle of the street and posing safety risks for all on the road. This additional traffic also creates environmental concerns as the additional vehicles affect our air quality, increase carbon emissions, and run contrary to the goal of promoting sustainable transportation methods such as public transportation. Residents have also called attention to consumer protection as prices jump significantly during sporting or city events.
The hearing will also discuss ways to leverage the demand to TNCs to improve our transportation infrastructure, as well as regulations other cities have enacted on TNCs. For example, New York City places a cap on the number of TNCs in the city for one year, and establishment of a minimum wage for drivers. Other municipalities have imposed fees on TNC rides, and cities like San Francisco have piloted geofencing at appropriate areas of the city to limit pickups, reduce congestion, and discourage double parking.
“ TNCs now play a key role in our overall transportation network and they provide convenient transportation for many residents and visitors to the City of Boston. However, data shows that they also belong in our discussions about traffic and sustainability,” said Councilor Ed Flynn. “Residents have also expressed safety concerns about designated pick up/drop off areas and geofencing in appropriate locations. I look forward to having a robust discussion about the ways that the city can work with TNCs and use data to make our streets safer and less congested for everyone.”
“Creating and sustaining reliable, equitable transportation continues to be a challenge we face as a city. With Boston’s growing population, there is an increased use of TNC’s, such as Uber and Lyft, impacting the City’s roads and bridges,” said Councilor Matt O’Malley. “In this hearing, I’m looking forward to discussing ways in which TNC’s have impacted congestion, safety and sustainability in the City of Boston. With this emerging gig economy, we also need to ensure that there is revenue generated to invest in improving our local roads and public transit.”
The hearing will be open to the public, and interested parties are encouraged to testify. For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or [email protected].