New York City has hit Uber with a cap on new cars

Gladys Abbott
August 9, 2018

The New York City Council voted to regulate Lyft and Uber services, which will likely raise prices for users of the ride-sharing services.

The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to place a one-year freeze on new licenses for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Other bills set a minimum wage for drivers for Uber and other services, and aim to impose regulatory parity with yellow cabs.

Uber said in a statement: "The city's 12-month pause on new vehicle licenses will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion".

Leading up to the vote, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said lawmakers aren't against the ride-hailing newcomers.

Michael Jools from the Australian Taxi Drivers Association said the stricter controls would help to alleviate congestion. The regulation didn't specify a dollar amount, but a report presented to the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission last month by the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics suggested $17.22 an hour, which would be $15 plus the overhead costs of operating a vehicle.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, say the bill will help cut down on the amount of congestion on the streets of NY.

About 80,000 vehicles are now used for so-called "ride sharing", in which drivers get a hail through an app.

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An ABC investigation found many licensed taxi drivers have warned of the mounting human toll due to industry deregulation, with livelihoods wiped out and increasing pressure on families.

"We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough", he said.

The TLC, which regulates taxis and is a powerful force in NY politics, commissioned a study recently in a bid to underscore the chaos and push city authorities into taking action.

But that growth has brought New York's iconic yellow cabs to their knees and since December, six yellow-cab drivers have committed suicide. "The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action-and now we have it".

"Workers and NY leaders made history today".

But opponents said Uber and Lyft provide needed service to neighborhoods outside Manhattan that are poorly served by yellow cabs. Several thousand more drivers worked for black auto companies that dispatched vehicles by phone, mostly in the outer boroughs of Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, where yellow cabs generally wouldn't travel.

Drivers previously pushed for a cap on new competition in 2015, but were beaten back by ride-hailing companies. If passed, the legation would make New York City the first major American city to set a limit on ride-hailing vehicles. Uber is not going away'.

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