New York City Council Votes to Cap Uber and Lyft

Irving Hamilton
August 9, 2018

The logo of Uber is pictured during the presentation of their new security measures in Mexico City, Mexico April 10, 2018.

The city council is set to vote on Wednesday to place a cap on ride-sharing services. (It's worth noting that companies can get around the hiring freeze if they're adding licenses specifically to enhance accessibility, something both the MTA and ride-hailing apps are severely lacking.) The start date was not specified during the meeting nor in the text of the bill.

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. And this action will stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt.

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. Hundreds of cab owners couldn't earn enough to pay for their auto leases and taxi-license medallions, and economic desperation became a factor in at least six driver suicides since November.

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.

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

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.

In emails to almost 5 million New Yorkers last month, Uber said riders would face higher prices, longer wait times and less service in the city's outer suburbs by drivers.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock".

The New York City Council originally mulled a similar ban in 2015, but it stepped away from the issue before any legislation was approved. It has also pledged to make half of its trips carpools, with multiple passengers by 2020.

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