NYC Council approves cap on app-based ride-hail vehicles, citing congestion

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 9, 2018

Lyft and Uber criticized the city council's actions, and both emphasized their commitment to easing congestion in NYC by reducing the number of cars on the road through other methods and long-term infrastructure investment. The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action - and now we have it.

New York City is the first major US market to place a cap on Uber and similar services, which could inspire other cities to adopt legislation as they grapple with the effects of ride-hailing services.

In a committee meeting on Wednesday, New York City Councilmembers cited concerns over pay and quality of life for the 80,000-some drivers now working as independent contractors under Uber and Lyft.

Lawmakers who backed the measure cited congestion in the city and hoped that it would stop the decline in compensation for drivers, according to WABC in NY.

The Council also agreed to impose a minimum wage for ride-hail drivers recommended by a recent study commissioned by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to pass similar legislation in 2015, but was defeated by a complex counter-campaign from Uber.

Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang said the pause on new vehicle licenses 'will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion'.

The legislation passed today also requires ride-sharing companies to have a minimum pay rate for drivers. That's in contrast to 14,000 taxi drivers.

Right: The real point of this package of bills was simply to give something to Uber's opponents, especially in the struggling yellow-cab industry. De Blasio called the growth of ride-hailing a "crisis" and said the services are clogging streets and "driving New Yorkers into poverty".

'They're talking about putting a cap on Uber, do you know how hard it is for black people to get a yellow cab in New York City?' Rev. Al Sharpton wrote on Twitter. Uber is not going away'.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he meant to sign the bills into law, which would start the 12-month period where no new for-hire vehicle licenses would be issued, with an exception for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

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