Uber and other ride-sharing apps are getting hit with a temporary cap.
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

NYC becomes the first U.S. city to regulate app dispatch companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Mayor Bill de Blasio, members of City Council and advocates gathered at Union Square today to announce the passage of a legislative package that aims to regulate Uber and other app-based ride services.

The package includes a temporary cap on new licenses for ride-hailing services, a minimum wage for app-based drivers as well as a study to examine the changing industry and how to reduce congestion caused by its rapid growth.

“Every day we hear complaints that NYC has become too expensive for hard-working New Yorkers and public transportation has become increasingly challenging,” said Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel. “For several years, for- hire-vehicle drivers found a way to make a decent living while customers found a better way to get around all five boroughs. But due to an unregulated industry, we now have too much congestion and too many vehicles on the road causing serious competition between drivers.”

But not everybody is in favor of this new legislation. Councilmember Robert Cornegy voted against the measure, citing a strong belief that the shared economy overall has been inclusive to black communities, and that ride-hailing apps have helped the black community in both pick-ups and in giving people jobs, reported Kings County Politics.

“I took my family to the Intrepid Museum on the West Side recently and stood on the curb as cab after cab passed us by,” Cornegy said. “I’m very wary of supporting an industry that has discriminated against me.”

De Blasio announced that he will be signing the legislation into law next Tuesday. The city will stop issuing new for-hire licenses that same day and adopt a new minimum compensation rule at the Taxi and Limousine Commission within 75 days. Once adopted, according to the mayor’s statement, drivers can expect an approximately 20 percent on average pay increase which could equate to more than $6,000 per year.

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