The City Council voted Wednesday on a package of bills that includes a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles while the city studies the rapidly changing industry.
The legislation will now go before Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, who is expected to sign it. Those wage concerns aren't limited to taxi drivers, though - in fact, the New York Times reports that almost 40 percent of the city's ride-hailing drivers qualify for Medicaid because their take-home wages are that low. He said he intends to sign the bill. "It would also allow the Commission address incomes for app-based drivers, 85 percent of whom now make below minimum wage". The study recommended a $17.22 hourly minimum wage after expenses, arguing the measure would cover the costs of owning and driving a vehicle in the city and allow for paid time off. City officials would set the wage.
Ride-hailing companies aren't exactly pleased.
They said they are trying to broaden their services by reducing reliance on cars, which can be seen in Uber's acquisition of JUMP bikes and a deal with Lime scooters. The Council's newly imposed minimum wage will assist the company in those efforts, he said. That wouldn't bode well for Uber, which is considering going public next year.
This cap is the first of its kind in the country, and if it proves successful in addressing issues related to ride hailing, other cities could follow suit.
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".
Uber has blazed the trail for the ride-hailing industry by ignoring local regulations, clashing repeatedly with city governments and often threatening to shut down service in response to legislation. It comes in the wake of reports about the declining price of taxi medallions and taxi driver suicides.
Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. and Fox News contributor Liz Peek discuss New York's vote to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed in the city.