Economy

City Council passes bill that caps licenses for for-hire vehicles

City Council passes bill that caps licenses for for-hire vehicles

Those wage concerns aren't limited to taxi drivers, though - in fact, the New York Times reports that almost 40 percent of the city's ride-hailing drivers qualify for Medicaid because their take-home wages are that low.

NY has become the first major United States city to approve a cap on ride-hail auto licences and set minimum pay conditions for drivers.

Minorities also praise the services because they say yellow cab drivers often refuse to pick them up or drive to their neighborhoods.

"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 said in a statement to FOX Business.

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Many Uber drivers joined the taxi industry in supporting the proposal.

During the year that ride-sharing drivers are capped, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will perform a study on the effect of such services on the city. "We're trying to create some level of parity, protect all drivers who have seen a diminishment in pay, and try to work on the congestion issue which is plaguing and choking the streets of New York City". In his words, they have "structured their workforce to abuse drivers, withholding a livable wage, affordable health insurance, overtime pay, retirement plans, workers' compensation coverage, unemployment insurance and the right to join a union to collectively bargain on their own".

"This victory belongs to yellow cab, green cab, livery, black auto, Uber and Lyft drivers who united together in our union to transform our shared struggle and heartbreak into hope and strength", Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the NYTWA, said in a statement.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which has pushed hard for the freeze, hailed the city council. The Times reported that Uber, which regained its license to operate for 15 months, agreed to report incidents to the police and share traffic data with the city, among other new measures.

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"We're going to aggressively go after the 40,000 existing [for-hire vehicle] licenses to add to the 80,000 that we already dispatch to", Gold said.

"Workers and NY leaders made history today".

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.

Opponents of the legislation said Uber and Lyft provide much-needed service to areas outside of Manhattan that aren't served by traditional taxis. Several thousand more drivers worked for black auto companies that dispatched vehicles by phone, mostly in the outer boroughs of Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, where yellow cabs generally wouldn't travel. The law does not put a cap on new drivers.

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The New York City Council originally mulled a similar ban in 2015, but it stepped away from the issue before any legislation was approved.