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New York City may limit number of Uber, Lyft vehicles

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The bill could be voted on by the City Council as soon as August 8

Via Spencer Pratt/Getty Images

The New York City Council is considering legislation that would limit the number of ride-hailing vehicles provided by companies like Uber and Lyft, the New York Times reports. The legislation has the backing of Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; the Mayor previously tried to enforce a similar cap on Uber vehicles back in 2015, but that didn’t prove to be successful.

Several facts have changed since that last attempt to curb the expansion of ride-hailing services. The number of these vehicles have topped 100,000 from 63,000 in 2015, according to city statistics. Uber has also weathered a series of scandals including claims of sexual harassment, and its former CEO Travis Kalanick stepping down last summer.

With this new proposal in front of the City Council, the city would put a stop to issuing new licenses on for-hire vehicles only exempting vehicles that have wheelchair accessibility. The city argues that services like Uber and Lyft have worsened the traffic situation in the city, and severely impacted the city’s yellow cab industry—a series of driver suicides earlier this summer raised more concerns about the impact of the ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Uber on its part immediately hit back at the proposed legislation arguing that New Yorkers who live in parts of the city that are underserved by public transit would be the hardest hit by a new law. The legislation could be voted on by the City Council as soon as August 8 this year, according to the Times. That would make New York City one of the first major American cities to place a cap on Uber and other ride-hailing services.