Uber, Lyft driver

Spencer Platt / Staff

Mayor De Blasio Extends Cap On Licenses For For-Hire Vehicles

June 12, 2019 - 3:29 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Months after Mayor Bill de Blasio halted the city from issuing new licenses for app-based for-hire vehicles, he has decided to make the limit permanent.

“For too long, app companies have taken advantage of hardworking drivers, choking our streets with congestion and driving workers into poverty,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement “That era will come to an end in New York City. Last year we took the first step, and this year we’re going further with new restrictions on how many empty cars these companies can have on our streets. That means higher wages for drivers and less congested streets for our city.”

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, there are currently 86,000 for-hire vehicles operating in the five boroughs. In August, Mayor de Blasio ordered the Taxi & Limousine Commission to crack down on industry, in which Uber, Lyft and Via operate.

Now, the mayor plans to extend the licensing cap and add a new cap on how long for-hire vehicles can drive around Manhattan below 96th Street without passengers.

Right now, for-hire vehicles are operating empty 41 percent of the time. The new rules will gradually reduce that to 36 percent by next February, and a 31 percent by August 2020.

In a press release, the administration noted the rules will cut down on congestion and speed up rush hour speeds by up to 10 percent. Cutting down cruising time without passengers is also expected to increase pay for drivers by up to 20 percent.