NYC sets limit on Uber and Lyft vehicles

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NYC sets limit on Uber and Lyft vehicles

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.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, say the bill will help cut down on the amount of congestion on the streets of NY. He said he intends to sign the bill. The study recommended a $17.22 hourly minimum wage after expenses, arguing the measure would cover the costs of owning and driving a auto in the city and allow for paid time off. City officials would set the wage. The City Council also passed a bill today addressing minimum pay for drivers.

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017.

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.

But 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'.

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. A Via representative said the company was "deeply disappointed" by the "counterproductive" cap.

'Uber as you know it is going to be Uber as you know it, ' Cumbo said.

This cap is the first of its kind in the country, and if it proves successful in addressing issues related to ride hailing, other cities could follow suit.

Lyft vice president of public policy Joseph Okpaku panned the vote in a statement, saying that the measure "will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs".

Under the cap, drivers will be required to be paid a minimum wage and ride-hailing companies will be granted licenses for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Lawmakers who backed the measure cited congestion in the city and hoped that it would stop the decline in compensation for drivers, according to WABC in NY.

City planners have argued in favor of measures to curb the growth of app-based services, which is most acute in city centers. But studies have shown Uber increases traffic congestion in major urban areas, including Manhattan, in part by pulling from more sustainable modes.

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