Monday, 24 September, 2018


NYC votes to cap Uber and Lyft vehicles

The City Council is trying to undo the ridesharing revolution Modal Trigger Shutterstock
Conrad Doyle | 09 August, 2018, 03:58

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he meant to sign the bills into law, which would start the 12-month period where no new for-hire vehicle licenses would be issued, with an exception for wheelchair-accessible vehicles. "I look forward to signing these bills into law".

The legislation also allows the city to set a minimum pay rate for drivers and minimum fares for the industry. 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 United States city.

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

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.

But Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, a Democrat, said Uber will still be available despite the moratorium on new cars. A Via representative said the company was "deeply disappointed" by the "counterproductive" cap.

"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", Joseph Okpaku, Lyft's vice president of public policy said.

This cap is the first of its kind in the country, and if it proves successful in addressing issues related to ride hailing, other cities could follow suit.

"We're going to aggressively go after the 40,000 existing [for-hire vehicle] licenses to add to the 80,000 that we already dispatch to", Gold said.

"More than 65,000 working families will be getting a desperately needed raise because of today's vote". Critics of the cap worry ride-hail vehicles will become tougher to find and more expensive, while NYC taxi drivers, who often lament that ride-hail services threaten their earning potential, consider the vote a major win.

City planners have argued in favor of measures to curb the growth of app-based services, which is most acute in city centers. Lyft has acquired the Motivate bike-sharing company.

Uber and Lyft contend they reduce users' dependence on private vehicles and complement public transit.

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