New York City moved Wednesday to regulate the explosive growth of Uber and other app-based ride services with a temporary cap on new licenses for ride-hailing services.
But Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang said the pause on new vehicle licenses 'will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion'.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he meant to sign the bills into law, which would start the 12-month period where no new for-hire vehicle licenses would be issued, with an exception for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
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".
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an 18,000-member union representing the city's taxi drivers, hailed the council's vote as a victory.
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 City Council is expected to vote today on a proposed cap on ride-share vehicles. That wouldn't bode well for Uber, which is considering going public next year.
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.
However, lawmakers hope the limitations will help reduce congestion and protect taxi drivers who have seen a steep decline in income. It comes in the wake of reports about the declining price of taxi medallions and taxi driver suicides. The cap will halt new ride-hailing vehicle licenses for one year while the council investigates how to mitigate issues that came with the influx of companies like Uber and Lyft, mostly related to congestion and driver wages. "We can not allow the so-called "gig economy" companies to exploit loopholes in the law in order to strip workers of their rights and protections". Lyft has acquired the Motivate bike-sharing company. But studies have shown Uber increases traffic congestion in major urban areas, including Manhattan, in part by pulling from more sustainable modes.