New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

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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.

Downtown at City Hall, the Taxi Workers Alliance rallied Tuesday, saying the cap is a way to alleviate financial stress for yellow cab drivers but many feel otherwise.

The New York City Council approved a package of bills Wednesday that includes implementing a one-year freeze on new for-hire vehicle licenses as the city explores ways of reducing traffic congestion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio still needs to sign it into law, but it's believed that he will do that soon. Ride-hailing services have an estimated 80,000 of the 120,000 available for-hire vehicle licenses in NY, the companies say.

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Uber has campaigned against the legislation, warning riders that a cap on drivers will create higher prices and longer waits for cars.

"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", she said, adding that the company would work "to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing". The study recommended a $17.22 hourly minimum wage after expenses, arguing the measure would cover the costs of owning and driving a vehicle in the city and allow for paid time off. City officials would set the wage.

Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. and Fox News contributor Liz Peek discuss New York's vote to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed in the city. The hits to the taxi industry reportedly contributed to the deaths of multiple drivers in past months.

They also said black and Hispanic New Yorkers need ride-hailing apps because yellow cab drivers often won't stop for them.

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But Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, a Democrat, said Uber will still be available despite the moratorium on new cars.

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". That wouldn't bode well for Uber, which is considering going public next year.

The City Council is expected to vote today on a proposed cap on ride-share vehicles.

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