Economy

New York To Cap Uber, Lyft And Other Ride-Hail Services

New York To Cap Uber, Lyft And Other Ride-Hail Services

The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to cap the number of Uber and other ride-hail vehicles, imposing a one-year freeze on new vehicle licenses as the city studies the demand for and effects of such services on traffic in the area. "It would also allow the Commission address incomes for app-based drivers, 85 percent of whom now make below minimum wage". A surge in ridership has coincided with increased resident frustration with the local subway system.

The company said it would also reach out to vehicle owners with existing for-hire licenses and try to recruit them to work for Uber.

The effort to cap the services in New York, Uber's largest USA market, was opposed by ride-hailing businesses, including Uber, Lyft and Via.

Uber has warned of increased wait times and raised fares as a result of the cap, but, as NY Times reports, many taxi and Uber drivers support the regulations, and hope that they'll lead to more passengers for each driver, and increased wages.

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.

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

City officials said that in the intervening years the number of for-hire vehicles on the streets has surged from 63,000 to more than 100,000, forcing drivers to compete for scarce fares and making it hard for any of them to earn a living wage. That's in contrast to 14,000 taxi drivers.

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

Gold said the outstanding 40,000 licenses belong to black vehicle and livery drivers, workers Uber will aim to recruit. "These sweeping cuts to transportation will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs", said Joseph Okpaku, Lyft's vice president of public policy, in an emailed statement.