Friday, 14 December, 2018

New York City Council votes to limit number of Uber, Lyft vehicles

Enlarge  A Lyft ride-hailing vehicle moves through traffic in Manhattan Enlarge A Lyft ride-hailing vehicle moves through traffic in Manhattan
Laurie Berry | 09 August, 2018, 11:08

In a committee meeting on Wednesday, New York City Councilmembers cited concerns over pay and quality of life for the 80,000-some drivers now working as independent contractors under Uber and Lyft.

Why it matters: This makes NY the first major American city to set a cap on ride-hailing vehicles or to set pay rules for gig drivers.

The Council also agreed to impose a minimum wage for ride-hail drivers recommended by a recent study commissioned by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission.

In a statement issued after the vote, Uber said, in part, "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".

Michael Jools from the Australian Taxi Drivers Association said the stricter controls would help to alleviate congestion.

The City Council voted Wednesday on a package of bills that includes a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles while the city studies the rapidly changing industry.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has championed.

They also said black and Hispanic New Yorkers need ride-hailing apps because yellow cab drivers often won't stop for them. "We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough".

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It also gives the TLC the power to regulate minimum rates of fares, minimum pay for drivers and create a new rulebook for app companies.

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.

Backers of the proposals said both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber cars flood the city's streets.

In Europe, transportation authorities in London cracked down on Uber's services last fall, withdrawing its license to operate in the city, which is Uber's largest European market, according to The New York Times. "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".

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.

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

'They're talking about putting a cap on Uber, do you know how hard it is for black people to get a yellow cab in New York City?' Rev. Al Sharpton wrote on Twitter.

Uber spokesman Josh Gold said in an interview Wednesday that the company will shift its strategy from opposing efforts to freeze the number of vehicles, to gobbling up the outstanding for-hire vehicle licenses available under the new cap.

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