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New York City Caps Licenses for Ride-Hailing Vehicles

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New York City has approved a one-year freeze on new licenses for ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber, USA Today reports.

The city council says the move is intended to help control traffic congestion. The cap will not apply to vehicles that offer wheelchair accessibility or in underserved areas.

The number of ride-hailing vehicles operating in the city has ballooned to 80,000 this year from 12,600 in 2015, according to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. They compare with roughly 14,000 licensed taxis. The city says it is the first major metropolis to place a limit on the number of ride-hailing vehicles on its streets.

Backers of the policy say the freeze will help elevate average hourly pay for drivers, which currently is less than $15 per hour. Some civil rights activists oppose the cap, claiming that minorities face discrimination from taxi drivers, some of whom refuse to pick them up.

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