Critics of the cap worry ride-hail vehicles will become tougher to find and more expensive, while NYC taxi drivers, who often lament that ride-hail services threaten their earning potential, consider the vote a major win.
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. About 14,000 yellow cabs operate in the city.
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. "We are thankful to the New York City officials who listened to the stories of drivers who are struggling to support their families and stood by us in this fight", the guild's executive director, Ryan Price, said in a statement. The new regulations, which restrict new licenses from being issued and stipulate a minimum wage for drivers, last for one year, and are the first of their kind to be imposed in a USA city. Picture taken September 21, 2017.
The cap will halt new ride-hailing vehicle licenses for one year while the council investigates how to mitigate issues that came with the influx of companies like Uber and Lyft, mostly related to congestion and driver wages.
A Lyft spokesperson said the council's vote "will have a detrimental impact on those that have historically been underserved by taxis: communities of color and the outer boroughs".
App-based ride services account for 80,000 vehicles in New York City, and provide 17 million rides per month, according to a study by The New School for the TLC. "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", de Blasio said.
Last month Uber's CEO and Lyft's president both addressed the traffic congestion complaints at a technology conference in Aspen, Colorado. It has also pledged to make half of its trips carpools, with multiple passengers by 2020.