New York City authorities will stop issuing new licenses to “for-hire” vehicles used by Lyft, Uber and other ride-hail apps, per new legislation approved by the city council Wednesday. The limit will last one year, and exempts wheel-chair accessible vehicles, which can still get for-hire licenses. The bill’s passage makes New York City the first major U.S. city to put major restrictions on the number of ride-hailing vehicles that can roam the street.
New York, like many American cities, is grappling with worsening traffic, which is sometimes exacerbated by ride-hail and delivery vehicles milling about looking for passengers and parking. The legislation, expected to be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, was criticized by Uber and many others as a blunt tool that will leave many New Yorkers with longer wait times for rides. That remains to be seen, but this will certainly accelerate a debate in many cities on how to exert more control on the ride-hailing industry.