Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Uber, Lyft face NY vote that may impose cap

Uber, Lyft face NY vote that may impose cap

The proposed bill will be the first of its kind in a major American city to set a limit on ride-hailing vehicles. It didn't take long for that cap to actually be voted into existence.

New York City is poised to become the first major USA city to impose a cap on Uber and other app-based ride-hailing 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.

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.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock. We are thankful to the New York City officials who listened to the stories of drivers who are struggling to support their families and stood by us in this fight", the guild's executive director, Ryan Price, said in a statement. Almost one in five qualify for food stamps.

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The first such cap by any major USA city was part of a package of measures that also includes setting a minimum wage for drivers.

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

"We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough", he said. Uber did not immediately return a request for comment. The only vehicles not affected by the new limits are those with wheelchair accessibility.

Civil rights groups say a cap would give minorities less ride options to get around the city.

Not a single council member Crain's consulted believed the measure would fail, as it did three years ago, and several described Uber's and Lyft's efforts this time around as anemic-consisting of little more than "boilerplate emails" from users and occasional text messages from lobbyists.

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