Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

New York City Council Votes to Cap Uber and Lyft

New York City Council Votes to Cap Uber and Lyft

Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. and Fox News contributor Liz Peek discuss New York's vote to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed in the city.

NY plans to cap ride-hailing services including Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., becoming the first USA city to take such a step.

Yellow cab drivers and anti-congestion campaigners have pushed for regulation after the number of app-based cars soared in recent years.

The legislation before the Council calls for a 12-month moratorium on most new for-hire vehicle licenses to give the city time to study how the rapid expansion of ride-hailing services affects the city's traffic, and how the council can ensure drivers of hired cars and yellow cabs earn a living wage.

It makes NY the first major USA city to limit the number of app-based rides and to impose pay rules, with authorities under pressure to act over pollution and worsening congestion.

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Michael Jools from the Australian Taxi Drivers Association said the stricter controls would help to alleviate congestion.

The legislation imposes a one-year ceiling on non-wheelchair-accessible for-hire vehicles while the city undertakes a study on the impacts of ride-hailing.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", de Blasio said in the statement.

The company said it will continue to work with New York City government and state leaders for solutions to keep up with the growing demand, such as congestion pricing.

"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.

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In Europe, transportation authorities in London cracked down on Uber's services last fall, withdrawing its license to operate in the city, which is Uber's largest European market, according to The New York Times.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which has pushed hard for the freeze, hailed the city council.

Around 80,000 drivers work for at least one of the big four app-based companies in NY, compared to 13,500 yellow cab drivers, it found. 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.

Opponents of the legislation said Uber and Lyft provide much-needed service to areas outside of Manhattan that aren't served by traditional taxis. By passing the proposal, NY becomes the first city in the country to impose these limitations. The law does not put a cap on new drivers.

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