NYC votes to stop Uber's unchecked growth, give drivers a minimum wage

A protester holds a sign memorializing New York City taxi drivers who have committed suicide. The demonstrators at City Hall on Tuesday favor of a cap on Uber Lyft and other ride-hailing vehicles

Uber and Lyft predicted to lose cap battle

On Wednesday, the New York City Council voted 36-6 to effectively cap the rapid-fire growth of ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Via and by nudging their fleets of black cars off the road and forcing companies to pay drivers a living wage.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock", New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

"We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation", Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, told the New York Times before the vote.

In a committee meeting on Wednesday, New York City Councilmembers cited concerns over pay and quality of life for the 80,000-some drivers now working as independent contractors under Uber and Lyft.

Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Jillian Melchior and GOP communications strategist Lee Carter on how New York's city council may approve a one-year cap on new licenses for Uber and other ride-sharing vehicles.

GOP communications strategist Lee Carter said the ride-sharing cap campaign is less about driver wages and has more to do with congestion on the streets of NY.

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New York City is the first major US 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.

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.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.

Via, which operates shared rides with established stops, hopes the city will make an exception for carpools, which it says reduce congestion and provide drivers with the most money.

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.

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

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