NYC Council approves cap on app-based ride-hail vehicles, citing congestion

09 August, 2018, 02:31 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Enlarge  A Lyft ride-hailing vehicle moves through traffic in Manhattan

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

Now the legislation heads for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's desk, who is expected to sign it.

Unrestrained growth has increased congestion in central Manhattan, and heightened competition has suppressed pay for drivers of yellow cabs, black auto liveries and luxury limousines. The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action - and now we have it.

"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. And this action will stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt.

Six yellow cab drivers have committed suicide since November.

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.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.

A Lyft spokesperson said the council's vote "will have a detrimental impact on those that have historically been underserved by taxis: communities of color and the outer boroughs".

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. Those wage concerns aren't limited to taxi drivers, though - in fact, the New York Times reports that almost 40 percent of the city's ride-hailing drivers qualify for Medicaid because their take-home wages are that low. By passing the proposal, NY becomes the first city in the country to impose these limitations.

Last month Uber's CEO and Lyft's president both addressed the traffic congestion complaints at a technology conference in Aspen, Colorado.

They said they are trying to broaden their services by reducing reliance on cars, which can be seen in Uber's acquisition of JUMP bikes and a deal with Lime scooters. It has also pledged to make half of its trips carpools, with multiple passengers by 2020.



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