Last week, New York City Council, in a 39-6 vote, chose to cap ride-hailing services, including Uber and Lyft. According to the Wall Street Journal, the City is freezing new vehicle licenses for one year. Concerns over traffic congestion, falling wages for taxi, livery and black-car drivers, and decreasing public transportation ridership are fueling the move. With New York City being the biggest market for both ride-sharing companies, growth through recruiting as many drivers as possible to drive down fares and cut pickup times is crucial. With backing from the Mayor, that may now be on hold. Uber and Lyft, which dominate the market in New York City, have expanded rapidly. In 2015, 25,000 ride-hailing vehicles were licensed in the city. Today, there are about 80,000 such vehicles. It will take a year for the City to study the fallout from the booming industry – a year where no additional drivers will be licensed.
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