Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

New York City Council Votes to Cap Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft predicted to lose cap battle City Council vote on ride-share cap
Priscilla Morrison | 09 August, 2018, 02:32

The New York City Council approved a cap on app-based ride-hail vehicles during a vote Wednesday - curbing the number of those cars allowed on the streets of NYC for a year.

And Josh Gold, a spokesman for Uber, told Tthe Times in a statement that the cap "will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion". The new regulations, which restrict new licenses from being issued and stipulate a minimum wage for drivers, last for one year, and are the first of their kind to be imposed in a U.S. city.

The package, opposed by major ride-hailing companies, is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and increasing driver paychecks in the wake of the explosive growth of for-hire vehicles.

The cap, the first to be imposed in a major city, will last for one year while the city conducts a survey on the impacts of the ride-hailing fleets. Hundreds of cab owners couldn't earn enough to pay for their auto leases and taxi-license medallions, and economic desperation became a factor in at least six driver suicides since November.

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New York City is the first major US market to place a cap on Uber and similar services, which could inspire other cities to adopt legislation as they grapple with the effects of ride-hailing services. However, lawmakers hope the limitations will help reduce congestion and protect taxi drivers who have seen a steep decline in income.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.

Via Founder and CEO Daniel Ramot says that Via drivers are earning 50% more than drivers for other ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. "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.

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

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