New York City votes to cap Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

Aug 8 (Reuters) - The New York City Council on Wednesday agreed to cap the number of licenses for ride-hailing services such as Uber for one year, dealing a blow to the companies that have relied on the largest U.S. metro area for a major source of their revenue.

The first such cap by any major U.S. city was part of a package of measures aimed at reducing traffic congestion and increasing driver paychecks in the wake of the explosive growth of for-hire vehicles and a rash of suicides among New York's "Yellow Cab" drivers who have seen their incomes fall.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he intended to sign the package into law.

"This action will stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt," he said in a statement.

Reaction to NYC capping Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

13 PHOTOS
Reaction to NYC capping Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses
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Reaction to NYC capping Uber, Lyft vehicle licenses

The New York City Council on August 8, 2018 to cap the number of licenses for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

*Click through the following slides to see how people react to the news.**

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

As a black New Yorker who was often passed up by taxi drivers in the past, I know ⁦@Uber⁩ and ⁦@lyft⁩ have made lif… https://t.co/f1aTk5LgCW
so now i gotta wait 25 minutes for an Uber bc some people thought it was smart to pay $500K for a taxi medallion? foh.
Here's what passengers and drivers have to say on New York City's newly passed cap on Uber and other app-based ride… https://t.co/QcICa8QCF8
Great job NYC! I look forward to waiting longer and paying more for an Uber https://t.co/05MWCwwdh7
After reading about it more, NYCs new law regulating uber and lyft isn't terrible. But I really wished they spent m… https://t.co/vWn1StqOwc
If you are ever in an Uber in NYC, ask the driver how difficult the New York govt makes their life. I guarantee the… https://t.co/HmElniWhlC
I can’t afford city cabs so I take Uber. Screw off. https://t.co/4oZ4lKRFca
@NYCMayor @NYCSpeakerCoJo @StephenLevin33 @NYCCouncil Still not taking a yellow cab and if Uber gets expensive I’ll… https://t.co/amfUdThR20
@jbarro I live in Queens. Until Uber came a long I had an awful time getting a yellow cab to take me home...never m… https://t.co/k3Ow5uxVLB
Ha, no one agrees with you. I'm guessing it's because NYC was a traffic disaster long before Uber. Lobbying works.… https://t.co/16vC1MjQ0B
@imogennnmnnnnnn In SF we just negotiated a per-ride tax with Uber and Lyft which is the first of its kind. Since o… https://t.co/ocNUxpQwdg
Good. Finally some good transit policy. Even a temporary cap is a step in the right direction but Uber’s scare ta… https://t.co/h2FfZWRhHz
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The number of ride-hailing vehicles operating in the city has jumped from about 12,600 in 2015 to about 80,000 this year, according to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. About 14,000 yellow cabs operate in the city.

The effort to cap the services in New York, Uber's largest U.S. market, was opposed by ride-hailing businesses, including Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft and Via.

"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.

Lyft said: "These sweeping cuts to transportation will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs."

In emails to nearly 5 million New Yorkers last month, Uber said riders would be hurt most by the limit on numbers, and would face higher prices, longer wait times, and less service in the city's outer suburbs by drivers. 

18 PHOTOS
Lyft through the years
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Lyft through the years
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: Lyft van is seen during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)
An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing car in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. Picture taken September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
Recruiters for Lyft wait for the opening of a job fair in Golden, Colorado, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Tariq Meyers, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Lyft, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S. October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
John Zimmer co-founder and president of Lyft speaks at WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Frankie Roeder, 28, hows his support as Lyft ride-sharing supporters rally at City Hall in Seattle, Washington, US, February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File photo
A smartphone app for Lyft drivers is seen during a photo opportunity in San Francisco, California February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12: A Lyft car drives along Powell Street on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The California Public Utilities Commission is cracking down on ride sharing companies like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar by issuing a warning that they could lose their ability to operate within the state if they are caught dropping off or picking up passengers at airports in California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Maya Jackson, a Lyft driver from Sacramento, holds a Lyft Glowstache during a photo opportunity in San Francisco, California February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A Lyft Inc. decal is displayed on a car window in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Lyft�Inc.�has gained significant ground on its rival,�Uber Technologies Inc., and is expected to grab more market share in the U.S., according to a private�Lyft�investor document obtained by Bloomberg. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A vehicle sits parked outside the Lyft Inc. driver hub in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Lyft�Inc.�has gained significant ground on its rival,�Uber Technologies Inc., and is expected to grab more market share in the U.S., according to a private�Lyft�investor document obtained by Bloomberg. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: A view of the Lyft booth during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 - Day 2 at Pier 36 on May 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: A Lyft representative attends Beyond The Home during Airbnb Open LA - Day 1 on November 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Airbnb)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: A Lyft driver navigates to her passenger on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Lyft)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: A Lyft driver is waiting for a ride in the city on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Lyft)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 27: A general view at the Lyft driver rally at Siren Studios on January 27, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Lyft)
The Lyft Inc. logo and application (app) is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s and MacBook Air for an arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Lyft Inc. is taking its ride-sharing service into New York this week and is abandoning its trademark pink mustaches in the process, taking on rival Uber Technologies Inc. in one of the biggest U.S. markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Lyft Inc. application (app) is demonstrated on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s during a Lyft ride for an arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Lyft Inc. is taking its ride-sharing service into New York this week and is abandoning its trademark pink mustaches in the process, taking on rival Uber Technologies Inc. in one of the biggest U.S. markets. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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