Mayor Bill de Blasio

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY NETWORK

De Blasio Signs Bill Placing Cap On For-Hire Vehicles

August 14, 2018 - 4:26 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed the first ever cap on Uber and Lyft vehicles into law.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, drivers chanting, “Union power! Driver power!’ filled the sweeping, curved, cantilevered steps behind the mayor in the City Hall rotunda. They held signs declaring, “A new day is here.”

The mayor signed measures to freeze the number of Uber, Lyft, and other for-hire vehicles for a year, and another bill that drivers must be paid a minimum of $17.22 per hour.

“Here in this city, fairness is more important than profit, and we’re proving it,” de Blasio said. “So there are some powerful people who may not like what I’m about to say, but it’s time for big corporations to take the back seat and for working people to take the wheel.”

The moratorium on new licenses takes effect immediately. The minimum driver compensation rule is to be adopted within 75 days.

The City Council approved the legislation last week. At that time, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson emphasized that six New York City cab drivers have committed suicide in the last year.

“There has been a real human impact – a real human impact for us not figuring out how to deal with a regulatory framework that would allow the for-hire vehicle industry to exist and grow to meet demand, while at the exact same time, ensuring that all workers; all drivers in New York City are able to make ends meet,” he said last week.

Lyft and Uber have claimed their drivers take home $16 per hour.

“This isn’t really not just a cap, it’s a cut,” one ride-sharing industry representative said last week. “Industry attrition is 25 percent a year, so what we’re looking is that over time with 25 percent of drivers cycle off the platform as they move, move on to new opportunities, we’re not going to be able to bring on any drivers that are actually going to fill that gap in service.”

The companies said that gap will mean less service in the transit-starved outer boroughs.