On Wednesday, the New York City Council voted 36-6 to effectively cap the rapid-fire growth of ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Via and by nudging their fleets of black cars off the road and forcing companies to pay drivers a living wage.
'More than 65,000 working families will be getting a desperately needed raise because of today's vote, ' said Jim Conigliaro Jr., the founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents drivers for Uber and other services.
The legislation institutes a one-year freeze on new licenses for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing apps - meaning no new drivers can be hired, regardless of demand - starting 120 days after the bill becomes law.
At the end of July, we learned that the New York City Council was looking into capping the number of ride-sharing vehicles in the city while it tried to figure out related issues like congestion.
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. "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", de Blasio said. The situation has grown so dire that at least six taxi drivers committed suicide in the first half of 2018.
Uber launched an aggressive $1 million campaign against council's plans, including emails and app alerts to customers, and it propagated the hashtag #DontStrandNYC.
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Johnson said pricing is up to the companies, not the city. "They have so much investment dollars". They were considered such a ticket to guaranteed income, banks allowed owners to borrow huge sums against them for home mortgages or school loans.
"Sydney and Melbourne have so many ride-share vehicles that there's a congestion problem in the afternoon and evenings in the CBD". So this is really within their control, what they want to do moving forward. "But now we have no hope and I don't see any place, which direction I should go".
Licenses for new ride-hailing vehicles in the city are about to get scarce. What the bill means is that no new vehicles can be added for a year while the city can study their impact. "But we think they shouldn't be able to grow in an unfettered way, and we think public opinion has shifted as well".
"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?" Uber did not immediately return a request for comment.
The New York Times reported taxi and Uber drivers believe the New York's proposals will stop the flood of competition and make it easier to earn decent wages.
One legislator suggested that the vote in the Committee on For-Hire Vehicles, which will weigh the measure tomorrow morning, will be slightly closer than the councilwide tally scheduled for the afternoon but only because of a higher percentage of right-leaning members in the full body.