Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

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

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

The cap will halt new ride-hailing vehicle licenses for one year while the council investigates how to mitigate issues that came with the influx of companies like Uber and Lyft, mostly related to congestion and driver wages.

The legislation also will allow the city to set a minimum wage for app-based drivers.

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to freeze new vehicle licenses for one year while the city studies ways of reducing traffic congestion, among other steps. There are now more than 100,000 ride-hailing app vehicles from companies like Uber and Lyft on city streets. An Uber spokesperson said that the move offers no improvement for congestion or to the subways; the company supports comprehensive congestion pricing.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to sign the bills into law. The same companies are now pushing back on the new proposals, including telling users through social media and on their apps that the legislation could make rides more scarce and more expensive. It also establishes a minimum wage for drivers, who had previously been exempt from the state's higher than average hourly compensation requirements.

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.

Six city taxi drivers have committed suicide in recent months under the financial pressure, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

"Max" from RideShare Drivers United has also welcomed the move in NY.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, on the other hand, applauded the city council's actions as a step toward protecting rideshare drivers, thousands of which have joined the union.

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. The Times reported that Uber, which regained its license to operate for 15 months, agreed to report incidents to the police and share traffic data with the city, among other new measures.

"And you know that yellow don't pick up black".

Right: The real point of this package of bills was simply to give something to Uber's opponents, especially in the struggling yellow-cab industry.

Most drivers in NY work full time and are often immigrants without higher education. If passed, the legation would make New York City the first major American city to set a limit on ride-hailing vehicles.

Flaws in that system, like racial profiling and inadequate demand, "made it easy for Uber, Lyft and the others to come in, say, 'We're going to provide a much better service, '" he said.

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