New York City puts the brakes on Uber, Lyft

  • New York City puts the brakes on Uber, Lyft

New York City puts the brakes on Uber, Lyft

The one-year cap - which won't apply to wheelchair accessible vehicles or in certain underserved areas deemed not to be affected by congestion - is meant to make way for a study on longer term regulations and standards for the industry. The Council also voted to set a minimum driver wage equivalent to the yellow cab wage for app-based drivers. They say the growth of ride-hailing apps has also worsened traffic congestion.

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.

Supporters of the cap bill say it will protect the financial stability of drivers already in the city as well as taxi drivers and reduce road congestion. "In the meantime, Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders, including Speaker Johnson, to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing". "We take the Speaker at his word that the pause is not meant to reduce service for New Yorkers and we trust that he will hold the TLC accountable, ensuring that no New Yorker is left stranded", the company said in a statement.

A similar cap on Uber and other vehicle services was proposed in 2015 but did not attract enough support to pass.

In a statement Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson said the council's decision would not improve congestion in the city.

At the same time, the value of the medallions that are required to operate a yellow cab has plunged from more than $1million to $200,000 or less, forcing many medallion owners into bankruptcy. The hits to the taxi industry reportedly contributed to the deaths of multiple drivers in past months.

But opponents said Uber and Lyft provide needed service to neighborhoods outside Manhattan that are poorly served by yellow cabs.

They said they are trying to broaden their services by reducing reliance on cars, which can be seen in Uber's acquisition of JUMP bikes and a deal with Lime scooters.

"We're going to aggressively go after the 40,000 existing [for-hire vehicle] licenses to add to the 80,000 that we already dispatch to", Gold said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has supported the legislation and is expected to sign it into law.