City Council's assault on Uber isn't really about congestion


In emails to almost 5 million New Yorkers last month, Uber said riders would face higher prices, longer wait times and less service in the city's outer suburbs by drivers. Ride-hailing services have an estimated 80,000 of the 120,000 available for-hire vehicle licenses in NY, the companies say.

New York City is the first major USA market to place a cap on Uber and similar services, which could inspire other cities to adopt legislation as they grapple with the effects of ride-hailing services.

The Independent Drivers Guild, a labor group representing more than 60,000 app-based professional drivers in the city, said the wage floor was the culmination of a two-year battle aimed at eliminating a so-called "loophole" that allowed Uber and Lyft to subvert minimum wage requirements by classifying drivers as contractors.

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.

Downtown at City Hall, the Taxi Workers Alliance rallied Tuesday, saying the cap is a way to alleviate financial stress for yellow cab drivers but many feel otherwise. He attempted to pass a cap in 2015 but faced intense opposition from Uber at the time.

"The City's 12-month pause on new vehicle licenses will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion", Uber spokesperson Josh Gold told The New York Times in a statement.

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The legislation also allows the city to set a minimum pay rate for drivers and minimum fares for the industry. The hits to the taxi industry reportedly contributed to the deaths of multiple drivers in past months.

Right: The real point of this package of bills was simply to give something to Uber's opponents, especially in the struggling yellow-cab industry.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", the mayor said in a tweet.

Gold said the outstanding 40,000 licenses belong to black vehicle and livery drivers, workers Uber will aim to recruit. Uber is not going away'.

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.