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NYC reins in Uber with cap on ride-hail vehicles

09 August 2018

Critics of the cap worry ride-hail vehicles will become tougher to find and more expensive, while NYC taxi drivers, who often lament that ride-hail services threaten their earning potential, consider the vote a major win.

The effort to cap the services in New York, Uber's largest us market, was opposed by ride-hailing businesses, including Uber, Lyft and Via.

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.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio released the following statement, saying he is prepared to sign the bill into law: "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock". The hits to the taxi industry reportedly contributed to the deaths of multiple drivers in past months.

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. Almost one in five qualify for food stamps. No new licenses will be issued for a full year as the city studies the issue further; legislation also allows the city to set a minimum pay rate for drivers, who, as legal contractors, are not subject to federal or state minimum wages.

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. "We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough". Uber did not immediately return a request for comment.

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"New York City is the first city in the country enact drivers' demands into legislation", it said on its website. 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.

Civil rights groups say a cap would give minorities less ride options to get around the city. That wouldn't bode well for Uber, which is considering going public next year.

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NYC reins in Uber with cap on ride-hail vehicles