NYC suspends 5 Uber hubs until they hand over records, re-open days later

Users of the ridesharing service Uber love the ability to hail a driver from their smartphone in many cities and get a lift at any time. However, governments around the world are not nearly so keen on the company. Spain, Taiwan and many other places have issued outright bans. Now, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is upset about how the business is doing things.

The latest squabble started when a decision by New York's Taxi and Limousine Tribunal temporarily closed five of Uber's six bases in the city because they wouldn't submit trip data to the organization, according to the New York Business Journal. Due to regulations in the Big Apple, each of the company's drivers must be affiliated with one of these bases, which are licensed by the TLC. They function similar to dispatchers, but as long as one is still open, the service can continue functioning.

The request included information like "date of trip, time of trip, pick up location, and license numbers" from April 1 to September 20, 2014, according to the ruling. The lawyers for the bases argued that the information divulged trade secrets, but the hearing officer didn't agree. She fined each one $200 and prohibited them from operating until they handed over the facts. The tribunal's findings can be read, here, in PDF format.

The shutdown only lasted for a New York minute, though. Just two days after the ruling, all five bases were up and running again. According to Newsweek, Uber filed an appeal. Until there's another decision, the locations can continue to operate.

Autoblog reached out to Uber spokesperson Lane Kasselman, and he responded via email with the following prepared statement: "Uber continues to operate legally in New York City, with tens of thousands of partner drivers and hundreds of thousands of riders relying on the Uber platform for economic opportunity and safe, reliable rides. We are continuing a dialogue with the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission on these issues."

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have a contentious history in New York. Their growing popularity is reportedly responsible for a rapid decrease in the value of the taxi medallions that traditional cabbies must lease from companies.

Share This Photo X