The New York City Council on Wednesday agreed to cap the number of licenses for ride-hailing services such as Uber Technologies Inc for one year, dealing a blow to the companies that have relied on the largest us metro area for a major source of their revenue.
Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to pass similar legislation in 2015, but was defeated by a complex counter-campaign from Uber. The unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action - and now we have it. Hundreds of cab owners couldn't earn enough to pay for their vehicle leases and taxi-license medallions, and economic desperation became a factor in at least six driver suicides since November. The City Council also passed a bill today addressing minimum pay for drivers.
The cap was given support from New York's taxi industry, which has seen wages falling and drivers expressing concern over long-term employment.
Uber and Lyft users might have to wait a bit longer for a ride when the cap is put in effect - or they could just walk to the curb and lift up an arm, like we all used to. Picture taken September 21, 2017.
A Lyft spokesperson said the council's vote "will have a detrimental impact on those that have historically been underserved by taxis: communities of color and the outer boroughs".
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New Yorkers who regularly rely on Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to travel around the city's five boroughs may find the apps less convenient in the next year.
Backers of the proposals said both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber cars flood the city's streets.
Lawmakers who backed the measure cited congestion in the city and hoped that it would stop the decline in compensation for drivers, according to WABC in NY.
Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Jillian Melchior and GOP communications strategist Lee Carter on how New York's city council may approve a one-year cap on new licenses for Uber and other ride-sharing vehicles. Occupancy rates will also be standardized for companies like Uber and Lyft, and the areas they can operate in will be limited.