Monday, May 16, 2022

Residents Ask Why DoorDash No Longer Making Food Deliveries To Roosevelt Island? NYC Council Member Julie Menin Working To Ensure New Food Delivery App Regulations Do Not Exclude RI Residents From Getting Restaurant Deliveries

A Roosevelt Island resident recently asked why DoorDash is no longer making food deliveries to Roosevelt Island:

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Julie Menin is looking into the matter:

It appears Doordash is no longer delivering to Roosevelt Island because of recently enacted NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) third party delivery app regulations.

According to a January 23, 2022 statement from the DCWP: 

Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Peter A. Hatch announced that, starting tomorrow, third-party food delivery apps will be required to have a DCWP license to operate in New York City. This law is the first part of a suite of new sweeping legislation regulating online third-party food delivery apps and enforcing brand new labor standards for delivery workers.... 

... Starting April 22, 2022, third-party food delivery apps must: 

  • Allow food delivery workers to set limitations on distances they will travel from restaurants and which bridges or tunnels they are unwilling to use;...

DoorDash submitted this comment to the DCWP on regulation regarding delivery workers traveling over Bridges:

Concern: Section 7-806(c) of the proposed rule requires that a third-party food delivery service or third-party courier service make available a selectable list of 34 NYC bridges and tunnels for purposes of providing workers with ability to set their bridge and tunnel preferences. While DoorDash appreciates the rule clarifying the specific bridges and tunnels that are subject to the preference requirement, we do not believe there is any policy rationale for requiring a third- party food delivery or third-party courier service to list bridges and tunnels that would never be crossed as part of any trip offered by the service and, therefore, never implicate a worker’s bridge or tunnel preference. Listing bridges and tunnels for which crossings would never occur creates additional implementation burdens, implies to workers that certain trips do in fact cross those bridges or tunnels, and negatively impacts worker experience by requiring them to make selections that are superfluous. 

Recommendation: The final rule should make clear that, out of the 34 identified NYC bridges and tunnels, a third-party food delivery or third-party courier service must only make available for selection those bridges and tunnels over which a crossing may actually occur as a result of a trip offered by the service.

UberEats added this comment to the DCWP on the Third Party Delivery App regulation with specific reference to the Roosevelt Island Bridge:

... Delivery Distance and Route (b) and (e): Requires couriers be allowed to set and update their preferred bridges and tunnels and their maximum distance parameter and preferences. This provision as proposed risks cutting off entire communities from accessing reliable food delivery and thus being inconsistent with the intent of the local laws...

... to the extent any rules are proposed on this issue, they should exclude crossings whose inclusion may have the effect of cutting off communities, contrary to the intent and purpose of the local law. To give just a couple of many illustrations of the problem, included in the list of bridges that could be encompassed within the scope of the proposed rule are considering are the Grand Street Bridge, which is less than 200 feet long, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge which is a two minute walk, and the Roosevelt Island Bridge, which is 0.3 miles long and connects more than 11,000 residents to Queens. By requiring companies to allow workers to opt out of deliveries over these bridges, the proposed rules would create significant operational challenges for the companies and potentially dramatically restrict the ability for consumers to order from within their own communities, while not addressing issues that were behind the intent of the bill. Granting couriers the ability to categorically opt-out of specific access points may adversely impact underserved communities. To name just one example, Roosevelt Island Bridge is the only access point for the residents who live there to get deliveries and there are only a few restaurants on the Island. ...

Ms Menin is asked about any progress getting DoorDash to resume delivering to Roosevelt Island:

Ms.Menin answers:
After hearing from constituents, my office reached out to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protections (DCWP) in order to ensure that food delivery apps would continue to service Roosevelt Island residents under the new delivery app regulations. After speaking with my office, DCWP is now aware of the problem and has promised amendments to the final rules that ameliorate this issue. We emphasized to DCWP that Roosevelt Island is unique due to the limited number of restaurants on the island and that including the Roosevelt Island bridge with other bridges could lead to devastating service reductions for Roosevelt Islanders. This issue affects many island communities and I look forward to partnering with DCWP to ensure that Roosevelt Islanders are not negatively impacted.

Uber Eats and GrubHub delivery workers are still traveling over the Roosevelt Island Bridge delivering food to Roosevelt Island residents.

It is unclear why DoorDash has stopped delivering to Roosevelt Island.

But NYC Council Member Julie Menin is continuing to work on the issue.

Stay tuned for updates.