New York City Votes to Cap Uber, Lyft Vehicle Licenses

August 9, 2018

The New York City Council on Wednesday agreed to cap the number of licenses for ride-hailing services such as Uber for one year, dealing a blow to the companies that have relied on the largest U.S. metro area for a major source of their revenue.

The City Council measure was aimed at reducing traffic congestion and increasing driver paychecks in the wake of the explosive growth of for-hire vehicles and a rash of suicides among New York’s “Yellow Cab” drivers who have seen their incomes fall.

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. About 14,000 yellow cabs operate in the city.

The effort to cap the services in New York, Uber’s largest U.S. market, was opposed by ride-hailing businesses, including Uber, Lyft and Via.

In emails to nearly 5 million New Yorkers last month, Uber said riders would be hurt most by the limit on numbers, and would face higher prices, longer wait times, and less service in the city’s outer suburbs by drivers.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, editing by Bill Tarrant)

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