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NYC Council approves cap on app-based ride-hail vehicles, citing congestion

09 August 2018

The package, opposed by major ride-hailing companies, is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and increasing driver paychecks in the wake of the explosive growth of for-hire vehicles.

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.

"We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation", Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, told the New York Times before the vote.

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.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, say the bill will help cut down on the amount of congestion on the streets of NY. "I look forward to signing these bills into law". It also establishes a minimum wage for drivers, who had previously been exempt from the state's higher than average hourly compensation requirements.

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

"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", said Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson.

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

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

"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", Joseph Okpaku, Lyft's vice president of public policy said.

'Uber as you know it is going to be Uber as you know it, ' Cumbo said.

The guild says nine in 10 of its members drive for ride-hailing companies as their primary source of income, underscoring the need for a minimum wage. But studies have shown Uber increases traffic congestion in major urban areas, including Manhattan, in part by pulling from more sustainable modes.

NYC Council approves cap on app-based ride-hail vehicles, citing congestion