Also: The SEC is proposing mandatory disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions.
Uber strikes deal with NYC taxis to improve user experience
New Yorkers will soon be able to hail a cab through the Uber app. In a rare collaboration with their competitor, Uber negotiated with New York Taxis to list yellow taxi drivers on their app.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is intended to ease Uber’s driver shortage and help reduce fare hikes. New York City is Uber’s largest market in the United States. The deal is the first of the ride-sharing giant’s citywide partnerships, although Uber has struck similar deals with overseas operators.
Part of the agreement requires Uber drivers to “receive a minimum time and distance fare set by the Taxicab and Limousine Commission (TLC).”
In a Twitter wire, New York Taxi Workers (NYTWA), a coalition of about 25,000 unionized New York drivers, said they would push for negotiations. Taxi drivers are demanding higher payment rates as rising gas prices, rising car costs and inset payments all affect the livelihoods of workers on the road.
“If Uber, Curb, Arro think they can slip away with a payment structure that’s broken for Uber drivers and piece it together on the backs of yellow cab drivers, they’re in for a sobering surprise,” said tweeted NYTWA. “Neither company will increase ridership without setting terms that are right for drivers. We know who’s in the driver’s seat. And spoiler alert, he’s not a venture capitalist.
Publicly listed companies could soon be held accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3 to 1 to release a proposal requiring publicly traded companies to include information about their greenhouse gas emissions. Companies should acquire independent certification of their estimates which would be provided in their annual filings with the SEC, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The decision comes after the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change were stifled by Congress. Now the administration is counting on its agency to implement policy that mirrors the president’s promises, though Republicans say the proposal would go beyond the SEC’s jurisdiction to protect investors by disclosing information.
“Today’s action hijacks the democratic process and fails to respect the limited scope of authority that Congress has given to the SEC,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said in a statement sent by e-mail to the Journal. “This is a thinly veiled effort to have unelected financial regulators set America’s climate and energy policy.”
But the Democrats are not backing down. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who has officially declared climate change an emerging risk to the country’s financial stability, said: “Investors and companies have been asking for years of reliable information that can be used to assess climate-related risks and opportunities.
The proposal is open for public comment for the next two months before the SEC works on its final decision.
Suspended student loans equal $194 billion in canceled payments
A report by Liberty Street Economics revealed that the pause in student loans during the pandemic resulted in a waiver of payments worth $195 billion through April 2022.
While millions of borrowers were able to receive relief, approximately 10 million borrowers with private loans or Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs) did not receive similar relief during the pandemic.
Default rates are likely to rise on student loans as well as non-student and non-mortgage debt accumulated in recent years.
Calls to action vary from legislator to legislator. Some suggest that creditors not report missed payments to credit bureaus so as not to affect borrowers’ credit scores. The report’s analysts, however, say suspending reporting won’t quell existing reimbursement issues that are bound to arise.
Solcyre (Sol) Burga was an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for the summer of 2021. Burga is completing her degree in political science and journalism at Rutgers University, intending to graduate in May 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.