New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

Ride-hailing services have an estimated 80,000 of the 120,000 available for-hire vehicle licenses in NY, the companies say.

On Wednesday, the New York City Council voted 36-6 to effectively cap the rapid-fire growth of ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Via and by nudging their fleets of black cars off the road and forcing companies to pay drivers a living wage.

The first such cap by any major US city was part of a package of measures that also includes setting a minimum wage for drivers.

"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", she said, adding that the company would work "to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing".

Regulatory changes in New York City, Uber's largest USA market, could provide a model for other cities eager to rein in ridesharing firms that have increased congestion even as they've revolutionized transportation.

"It's critical for New York to regulate minimum fare rates - the only source of income for drivers - across the taxi and app-dispatch sectors, so no worker gets left behind", wrote councilmember Adrienne Adams in a New York Times op-ed. But the lawmaker still thought the 12-month moratorium on new Taxi and Limousine Commission-licensed cars working for "high-volume for-hire services" would cruise through. "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", de Blasio said.

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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Johnson said the city won't take away existing licenses, and there would be exceptions for issuing new ones.

"No one is going to be destroyed by what happened today", Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said after the vote.

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 Independent Drivers Guild, a labor group representing more than 60,000 app-based professional drivers in the city, said the wage floor was the culmination of a two-year battle aimed at eliminating a so-called "loophole" that allowed Uber and Lyft to subvert minimum wage requirements by classifying drivers as contractors.

"Workers and NY leaders made history today".

The relative lack of resistance-Uber and Lyft have spent a fraction of the amount on lobbying this year as they did three years ago and have not run attack ads on politicians who have received money from yellow-cab medallion holders-may owe to the council's decision to package the cap with other bills that the firms support.

New York's move could shape regulations being considered in other cities concerned by the rise of ridesharing services. The law does not put a cap on new drivers.

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