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NY moves to cap Uber, app-ride vehicles

NY moves to cap Uber, app-ride vehicles

New York City is hitting the brakes on fast-expanding ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The council also voted to require drivers get paid minimum wage.

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.

It makes NY the first major USA city to limit the number of app-based rides and to impose pay rules, with authorities under pressure to act over pollution and worsening congestion.

"The minimum wage is great for drivers in today's bill and I think a temporary cap will help them along the way as well", Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. said during an interview on FOX Business' "Making Money" on Wednesday.

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 legislation will now go before Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, who is expected to sign it.

About 80,000 vehicles are now used for so-called "ride sharing", in which drivers get a hail through an app. "We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough".

"We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation", Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, told the New York Times before the vote.

A new report ordered by New York City regulators calls for a $17.22 minimum wage for ride-hail drivers.

The TLC, which regulates taxis and is a powerful force in NY politics, commissioned a study recently in a bid to underscore the chaos and push city authorities into taking action. The Times reported that Uber, which regained its license to operate for 15 months, agreed to report incidents to the police and share traffic data with the city, among other new measures. "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".

Opponents of the legislation said Uber and Lyft provide much-needed service to areas outside of Manhattan that aren't served by traditional taxis.

'Uber as you know it is going to be Uber as you know it, ' Cumbo said. By passing the proposal, NY becomes the first city in the country to impose these limitations.

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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