New York To Cap Uber, Lyft And Other Ride-Hail Services

Sarah Tew  CNET

Sarah Tew CNET

The regulation didn't specify a dollar amount, but a report presented to the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission last month by the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics suggested $17.22 an hour, which would be $15 plus the overhead costs of operating a vehicle.

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.

In a statement, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) commended the Council for its vote, arguing the cap would "stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt". (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. "I look forward to signing these bills into law".

Other bills set a minimum wage for drivers for Uber and other services, and aim to impose regulatory parity with yellow cabs.

"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.

In a statement to CBS News, Uber said the decision will "threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion".

They said they are trying to broaden their services by reducing reliance on cars, which can be seen in Uber's acquisition of JUMP bikes and a deal with Lime scooters.

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The company said it would also reach out to vehicle owners with existing for-hire licenses and try to recruit them to work for Uber.

In a statement, Lyft decried the measure's passage - arguing the cap would make hailing a ride more hard across the city, particularly in less dense areas.

Not surprisingly, Uber and Lyft released statements criticizing the motion by the New York City council.

The city's measures follow mounting public pressure to confront the rise of the ride-hailing services, as taxi industry fortunes have fallen and workers have struggled to make a living.

"More than 65,000 working families will be getting a desperately needed raise because of today's vote".

Via, which operates shared rides with established stops, hopes the city will make an exception for carpools, which it says reduce congestion and provide drivers with the most money. "We can not allow the so-called "gig economy" companies to exploit loopholes in the law in order to strip workers of their rights and protections".

However, he said better driver education and protections, rather than a minimum wage, could be more helpful.

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