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Important changes to driving in New York City

September 12, 2019 / New York City

Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as of March 19, 2020, certain restrictions on the ability to go online with Uber have been temporarily removed. The Planner tool also has been suspended, as drivers can now go online at any time of the day. During this time, the number of trips completed will not impact future Planner status.

Regulations passed by Mayor de Blasio’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC)—and the response from other companies, such as Lyft—have significantly affected how Uber can operate in New York City. As a result, we’ve made some changes to how the Driver app works across all 5 boroughs.

We know that all the changes to the city’s regulations since 2018 have been frustrating to drivers, and we’re doing our very best to support you as we work to respond to the TLC’s rules.

The TLC rules

Since August 2018, the TLC has implemented rules that (1) limit the number of for-hire vehicles that can drive with apps like Uber in NYC, and (2) effectively restrict the number of drivers who can go online. The rules have caused us to change the way drivers can go online with Uber. Going forward, rider demand will determine how many drivers can be online at the same time. 

How these regulations will impact drivers

Some drivers may start to notice they can’t go online during certain times or in some areas across the 5 boroughs. If there is low demand for rides in an area, fewer drivers will be able to go online there. On the other hand, more drivers will be able to go online in areas where lots of riders are requesting trips. This means it’s more likely you can get online at the busiest times and places across the entire city. Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce an in-app map that will highlight alternative areas in real time where it’s busier and where you may be able to go online instead. 

Questions drivers might have