The New York City council is considering legislation that would limit the number of vehicles allowed in the city for ride-hailing services. Many taxi associations in markets taken over by ride-hailing services has pushed for similar legislation in order to protect their market share. Spain last week saw protests held by taxi drivers that wanted a ratio of 100 taxis to 1 ride-hailing driver.
In New York City where the iconic yellow cabs used to dominate a decade ago now has over 100,000 ride-hailing vehicles, almost doubled from 63,000 in 2015. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission claim those vehicles made 17 million trips in February 2018. At the same time, medallion taxis only made 8.5 million trips during the same time period, down almost 30 percent from 11 million two years ago. City officials have noted the increase in congestion on city streets can be attributed by the increasing ride-hailing vehicles. Uber has responded in a blog post stating they company feels the City Council needs to regulate ride-hailing are worthwhile, however at the same time, this regulation will make Uber less reliable and more expensive therefore less competitive. Uber has also continued to argue this proposed regulation will give the Taxi and Limousine Commission the ability to affect and effectively set the prices for Uber fares.
Lyft officials say that if the legislation passes, they estimate at least 25 percent fewer Lyft drivers. Both ride-hailing services have stated that during peak hours, wait times will increase and prices will spike even higher, especially outside the Manhattan area. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio showing support the proposed legislation, cited a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley that showed most ride-hailing drivers earn below minimum wage. Removing the constant introduction of more drivers into the market will allow current drivers to earn more fares and remove "empty vehicles circling around for no purpose."