New York Council Caps Uber and Lyft Vehicle Licenses

The New York City Council agreed to cap the number of licenses for ride-hailing services for a year on Wednesday, effecting major ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. The cap is under a package of measures that also include a minimum wage for drivers.

The package was targeted at decreasing traffic holdups and ensuring taxi drivers a more reliable income with the influx of Uber and Lyft drivers. The ride-hailing services decreased incomes for other drivers and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said there has been six suicides for cab and livery drivers in recent months. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bills into law that would start a 12-month period where no licenses would be issued for for-hire vehicles, according to Reuters.

According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, ride-hailing vehicles have jumped from about 12,600 in 2015 to about 80,000 this year while only about 14,000 yellow cabs operate in the city.

The ride-hailing companies strongly opposed the cap. Uber said, “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.”

Lyft said, “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.”

Uber recently acquired JUMP bikes and had a deal with Lime scooters while Lyft has acquired Motivate bike-sharing in recent months. Lyft also pledged to make half of its trips carpools with multiple passengers by 2020.

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