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

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.

The first such cap by any major US city was part of a package of measures that also includes setting a minimum wage for drivers.

"It's critical for New York to regulate minimum fare rates - the only source of income for drivers - across the taxi and app-dispatch sectors, so no worker gets left behind", wrote councilmember Adrienne Adams in a New York Times op-ed.

Now the legislation heads for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's desk, who is expected to sign it.

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

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. About 14,000 yellow cabs operate in the city.

Uber and Lyft users might have to wait a bit longer for a ride when the cap is put in effect - or they could just walk to the curb and lift up an arm, like we all used to.

Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased. The insider was unsure of the exact nature of these last-minute amendments, but another source suggested that a final draft of the bill might allow now licensed Uber and Lyft cars to be rented to other drivers, possibly creating yellow-taxi-style fleets of ride-hail cars.

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".

Backers of the proposals say both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber cars flood the city's streets.

"Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock".

"New York City is the first city in the country enact drivers' demands into legislation", it said on its website. Lyft has acquired the Motivate bike-sharing company.

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