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

The insider was unsure of the exact nature of these last-minute amendments, but another source suggested that a final draft of the bill might allow now licensed Uber and Lyft cars to be rented to other drivers, possibly creating yellow-taxi-style fleets of ride-hail cars.

NY just became the first city in the nation to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles on its streets and require Uber, Lyft, and other companies to pay drivers a minimum rate.

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.

Slamming on the brakes: This is a big blow to Uber-the Big Apple is the company's biggest U.S. market. Around 13,500 yellow cabs had the special licenses, called medallions, needed to pick up passengers on the street.

Those deaths have been linked to desperation over plummeting income. That's in contrast to 14,000 taxi drivers.

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.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance celebrated the vote, describing it on its website as a historic victory for its 18,000-member strong union.

City officials said that in the intervening years the number of for-hire vehicles on the streets has surged from 63,000 to more than 100,000, forcing drivers to compete for scarce fares and making it hard for any of them to earn a living wage.

In a statement issued after the vote, Uber said, in part, "The City's 12-month pause on new vehicle licenses will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion".

"Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders... to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing", a spokesperson said. "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", de Blasio said.

It comes after the city was forced to shelve plans in 2015 to cap the number of vehicles operated by Uber, after the multibillion-dollar corporation fought tooth and nail against the legislation in a slick ad campaign.

Yellow taxi drivers have been pushing for this legislation because they say the rapid growth of ride-hailing services is destroying their industry.

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

"It's not easy taking on Silicon Valley behemoths, but we kept on fighting for what we know is right and today the workers prevailed". The law does not put a cap on new drivers. They get into heavy debt to buy their vehicle license and have little other means of generating income.

The study, commissioned for the TLC, recommended a minimum hourly wage for drivers of $17.22 per hour - and found that 85% of app-based drivers now net below that amount.

According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, those app-based vehicles made 17 million trips in February 2018, up from 6 million in February 2016.

Last year, London's transport authority stripped Uber of its license over safety concerns, but the corporation appealed the decision and was allowed to continue operating while the case was heard.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.

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