New York is making moves on how for-hire vehicles are allowed to operate within the city.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that a cap on for-hire vehicle (FHV) licenses, which was originally set to expire in August, will now be extended. It will not pertain to wheelchair accessible vehicles or all-electric vehicles, according to a news release from his office.
The changes are part of a plan from the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).
Another cap that will be instituted will target how long FHV companies – such as Uber and Lyft – can allow their cars to drive around without customers “in the Manhattan core, below 96th Street,” de Blasio said.
“TLC will create a new rule that limits the amount of time an app company’s drivers can cruise in the core without passengers,” the news release stated. “Currently they cruise a remarkable 41 percent of the time without passengers, increasing congestion.”
The end goal is to reduce that figure to 31 percent and “strict penalties” will be levied if it’s not adhered to, de Blasio said. Companies will have until next February to get to 36 percent and until August 2020 to reach 31 percent.
“For too long, app companies have taken advantage of hardworking drivers, choking our streets with congestion and driving workers into poverty,” de Blasio said. “That era will come to an end in New York City.”
“Last year we took the first step, and this year we’re going further with new restrictions on how many empty cars these companies can have on our streets,” he continued. “That means higher wages for drivers and less congested streets for our city.”