Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

NY just capped the number of Uber, Lyft vehicles

NY just capped the number of Uber, Lyft vehicles

Uber has blazed the trail for the ride-hailing industry by ignoring local regulations, clashing repeatedly with city governments and often threatening to shut down service in response to legislation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has championed. The same companies are now pushing back on the new proposals, including telling users through social media and on their apps that the legislation could make rides more scarce and more expensive.

Even before the City Council voted 39-6 to impose a one-year cap on Uber and other for-hire vehicles, Speaker Corey Johnson had confessed the truth: "This is not going to solve the problem" of traffic congestion.

"It's critical for New York to regulate minimum fare rates - the only source of income for drivers - across the taxi and app-dispatch sectors, so no worker gets left behind", wrote councilmember Adrienne Adams in a New York Times op-ed. Ride-hailing services have an estimated 80,000 of the 120,000 available for-hire vehicle licenses in NY, the companies say.

A new report ordered by New York City regulators calls for a $17.22 minimum wage for ride-hail drivers.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an 18,000-member union representing the city's taxi drivers, hailed the council's vote as a victory.

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Around 80,000 drivers work for at least one of the big four app-based companies in NY, compared to 13,500 yellow cab drivers, it found. "It would also allow the Commission address incomes for app-based drivers, 85 percent of whom now make below minimum wage".

Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang said the pause on new vehicle licenses 'will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion'. "And this victory belongs to New Yorkers and our allies who have stood with us to say, not one more death, not one more fallen driver crushed by poverty and despair".

But that growth has brought New York's iconic yellow cabs to their knees and since December, six yellow-cab drivers have committed suicide.

"And you know that yellow don't pick up black. We will survive, '" he said.

Supporters of ride-hailing services say they are needed, especially outside of Manhattan, where it can be hard to hail a yellow cab.

The industry hasn't seen this level of upheaval since the first half of the 20th century, when the medallion system was put in place to deal with issues of competition, said Graham Hodges, a professor at Colgate University. People of color and immigrants predominate among yellow cab drivers. By passing the proposal, NY becomes the first city in the country to impose these limitations. "That doesn't mean those flaws couldn't be remedied without destroying the system", he added.

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