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New York City clamps down on ride-hailing firms

One of the world's most iconic cities has voted overwhelmingly to reduce the number of licenses issued for ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Lyft.

New York City's Council decided to introduce new legislation which will cap the number of licenses awarded to app-based taxi services that have increased ten-fold in the city over the last number of years.

New York's famous yellow cab drivers along with anti-congestion campaigners have been calling for a clamp-down on Uber and Lyft after the number of cars increased from 12,600 to 80,000 in the space of just three years.

City officials heard the concerns of both groups and after several deliberations on the issue sided with the view that a cap was necessary in an effort to address the number of ride-hailing licenses continuing to increase.

The new bill which has been drafted is expected to be signed into legislation next week, and will place a twelve-month moratorium on new ride-hail vehicle licenses, with the exception of wheelchair-accessible cars.

In addition to this, it has also emerged that the New York TLC will also have the power to set the minimum fare rates and minimum pay rates for drivers.

The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, expressed his satisfaction at the outcome of the vote by city officials and claimed that it sent a resounding message that the city is putting the interests of workers ahead of corporations.

The Mayor said, "The City is sending a clear message: we're putting hardworking New Yorkers ahead of corporations. The City Council has spoken boldly, and now we can act. We are taking immediate action for the benefit of more than 100,000 hard-working New Yorkers who deserve a fair wage, and halting the flood of new cars grinding our streets to a halt."

Uber released a statement following the decision and rejected the assertion that a 12-month pause on licenses for new Uber vehicles would ease the traffic congestion issues in the city.

Uber said, "The city's 12-month pause on new vehicle license's will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion."

Lyft is quoted as saying, "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."