"Controlling the absolute numbers of ride-share vehicles is a positive move because the congestion in all the cities is increasing", he said. Mayor Bill de Blasio released the following statement, saying he is prepared to sign the bill into law: "Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock".
In a statement, Lyft decried the measure's passage - arguing the cap would make hailing a ride more hard across the city, particularly in less dense areas.
Even before the City Council voted 39-6 to impose a one-year cap on Uber and other for-hire vehicles, Speaker Corey Johnson had confessed the truth: "This is not going to solve the problem" of traffic congestion. 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. Those wage concerns aren't limited to taxi drivers, though - in fact, the New York Times reports that almost 40 percent of the city's ride-hailing drivers qualify for Medicaid because their take-home wages are that low.
In Europe, transportation authorities in London cracked down on Uber's services last fall, withdrawing its license to operate in the city, which is Uber's largest European market, according to The New York Times.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance celebrated the vote, describing it on its website as a historic victory for its 18,000-member strong union.
"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", Okpaku's statement reads. The Council also voted to set a minimum driver wage equivalent to the yellow cab wage for app-based drivers.
"We will never stop working to ensure New Yorkers have access to reliable and affordable transportation in every borough", he said.
"And you know that yellow don't pick up black".
"We would like to see a committee whose job is to check the expenses of the auto to find out what the cost is to the driver per kilometre", he said.
Uber spokesman Josh Gold said in an interview Wednesday that the company will shift its strategy from opposing efforts to freeze the number of vehicles, to gobbling up the outstanding for-hire vehicle licenses available under the new cap.
Opponents of the legislation said Uber and Lyft provide much-needed service to areas outside of Manhattan that aren't served by traditional taxis.
That argument has gotten support from some civil rights activists like the Rev. Al Sharpton, who have long criticized the yellow cab industry for discrimination and profiling of minorities.