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

09 Agosto, 2018, 11:08 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • The City Council is trying to undo the ridesharing revolution

"In Australia the average hourly income that a driver earns is less than $10 an hour - a third of the national minimal wage", he said.

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".

They also said black and Hispanic New Yorkers need ride-hailing apps because yellow cab drivers often won't stop for them.

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

Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang said the pause on new vehicle licenses 'will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion'.

The cap does not apply to wheelchair accessible vehicles or underserved areas that have not been affected by 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. The situation has grown so dire that at least six taxi drivers committed suicide in the first half of 2018.

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. That's up from 12,600 in 2015.

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By a 39-6 vote, the City Council passed a bill Wednesday that caps the number of for-hire vehicle licenses for a year.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance celebrated the vote, describing it on its website as a historic victory for its 18,000-member strong union.

"We're going to aggressively go after the 40,000 existing [for-hire vehicle] licenses to add to the 80,000 that we already dispatch to", Gold said. "We hope this is the start of a more fair industry not only here in New York City, but all over the world", the labor group's founder, Jim Conigliaro Jr., said in a statement. "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". "It's not easy taking on Silicon Valley behemoths, but we kept on fighting for what we know is right and today the workers prevailed", said Ryan Price, the executive director of the Independent Driver's Guild.

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

NY is not the only city where ride-hailing apps are facing scrutiny. Uber in particular has clashed with authorities in Austin, Texas, and in cities throughout Europe.

At the same time, the value of the medallions that are required to operate a yellow cab has plunged from more than $1million to $200,000 or less, forcing many medallion owners into bankruptcy.

NY is the biggest USA market for app Uber.

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