In a move which was expected, the New York City Council has passed a legislation to cap the number of ride-hailing vehicles in the city. The bill which was passed would limit the number of for-hire vehicles for a year as the city studies the rise of ride-hailing services in the city. This affects companies such as Uber and Lyft tremendously. On top of that, the bill also allows the state to set a minimum pay rate for drivers of such services.
The expectation of this bill was to help reduce the traffic on the streets as well as improve the pay of drivers. Uber, on the other hand, says that having a cap would worsen the overall customer experience as rides will take longer to arrive and fares might increase due to the service not able to meet growing demand of ride-hailing vehicles.
New York faces an issue of the ever-growing increase in drivers from around 63,000 back in 2015 to a now booming 100,000 cars. Whilst ride-hailing companies such as Lyft and Uber complain about these regulations, driver unions are praising it, saying that drivers deserve a lot more and that this sort of “gig-economy” puts drivers at a disadvantage completely especially when it comes to the long-term such as preparing them for retirement, overtime pay, unemployment insurance and more.
Elizabeth Cassarino, a yellow taxi driver, said in a statement to the New York Times that she supports the cap and hopes it will improve business for taxis. As she drove a taxi through the clogged streets of Manhattan on Wednesday, she said her credit cards were maxed out and she had trouble making enough money to pay for food.