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

A protester holds a sign memorializing New York City taxi drivers who have committed suicide. The demonstrators at City Hall on Tuesday favor of a cap on Uber Lyft and other ride-hailing vehicles

Uber and Lyft predicted to lose cap battle

The number of ride-hailing vehicles operating in the city has jumped from about 12,600 in 2015 to about 80,000 this year, according to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The New York City Council voted on Wednesday (8/8) in favor of a cap on the number of vehicles from Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services on the road in NYC, CNBC reports.

GOP communications strategist Lee Carter said the ride-sharing cap campaign is less about driver wages and has more to do with congestion on the streets of NY.

The cap will halt new ride-hailing vehicle licenses for one year while the council investigates how to mitigate issues that came with the influx of companies like Uber and Lyft, mostly related to congestion and driver wages.

New York City is the first major US market to place a cap on Uber and similar services, which could inspire other cities to adopt legislation as they grapple with the effects of ride-hailing services.

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Now the legislation heads for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's desk, who is expected to sign it. The hits to the taxi industry reportedly contributed to the deaths of multiple drivers in past months.

The legislation also allows the city to set a minimum pay rate for drivers and minimum fares for the industry.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.

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.

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". "We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough". Several members of the committee did not respond to a request for comment. These include a minimum wage for drivers (although Lyft has expressed reservations about the prescribed mechanism to achieve it) and the waiving of TLC fees for wheelchair-accessible cars.

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