NEW YORK — New York City is reining in the growth of Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride services with a temporary cap on new cars picking up fares.
The City Council approved a package of bills Wednesday that included a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles while the city studies the rapidly changing industry.
The Council also voted to set a minimum driver wage equivalent to the yellow cab wage for app-based drivers.
Backers of the proposals said both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber cars flood the city’s streets. They said the growth of ride-hailing apps has also worsened traffic congestion.
But opponents said Uber and Lyft provide needed service to neighborhoods outside Manhattan that are poorly served by yellow cabs.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in an interview with the Sun-Times Editorial Board on Tuesday, said, “I think that it’s misguided in that it’s targeting one class of transportation versus all classes of transportation.”
“I also think that in New York City whereas the traffic issues are in the center of the city, 50 percent of our rides now are the outer boroughs and not in the center of the city. So with a cap in New York City might be unwittingly actually hurting people who are depending on Uber and who live in neighborhoods that are underserved as it relates to transport options especially late at night.”
Khosrowshahi said Uber wants to work with New York City officials on other ways to curb congestion.