Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Economy | By

New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

Mayor Bill de Blasio released the following statement, saying he is prepared to sign the bill into law: "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock".

"We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation", Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, told the New York Times before the vote. The drop in incomes has demoralized many drivers and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said there have been six suicides among cab and livery drivers in recent months. They say the growth of ride-hailing apps has also worsened traffic congestion. And this action will stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt.

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.

Uber has campaigned against the legislation, warning riders that a cap on drivers will create higher prices and longer waits for cars.


FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017.

New Yorkers who regularly rely on Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to travel around the city's five boroughs may find the apps less convenient in the next year.

A Lyft spokesperson said the council's vote "will have a detrimental impact on those that have historically been underserved by taxis: communities of color and the outer boroughs".

In emails to almost 5 million New Yorkers last month, Uber said riders would face higher prices, longer wait times and less service in the city's outer suburbs by drivers. By passing the proposal, NY becomes the first city in the country to impose these limitations. Occupancy rates will also be standardized for companies like Uber and Lyft, and the areas they can operate in will be limited. Lyft has acquired the Motivate bike-sharing company.

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